CAR: Attempt to take over capital repulsed

Central African Republic's prime minister urges population to remain calm

Krock Sylvestre and Peter Kum   | 13.01.2021
CAR: Attempt to take over capital repulsed File Photo

BANGUI, Central African Republic

An attempt to capture the Central African Republic's capital Bangui was repulsed on Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said on social media. 

"We experienced in the early hours of the morning an attempt by the attackers to enter Bangui on several fronts, notably at the North exit towards Pk 12 and Pk 9," Ngrebada said on Wednesday morning on his official page Facebook.

"The attackers who came in large numbers to take Bangui were vigorously repulsed," he added.

A resident of Pk12 told Anadolu Agency over the phone that "the detonations started around 5 a.m. [0400GMT] and lasted three hours, families fled their homes, immediately calm returned."

According to Ngrebada, an operation in the areas through which the rebels tried to enter the city is underway.

The population must remain calm and go about their business. Everything is being done to ensure his security and that of the country, Ngrebada said.

An employee of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), reached by telephone by Anadolu Agency, affirmed that all staff in Bangui have been ordered to "stay at home today".

In December 2020, six of the main armed groups that control a large part of the war-torn country united in the so-called Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), a rebel alliance formed around former President Francois Bozize.

The situation in the CAR, a landlocked central African country, has been tense after the Constitutional Council rejected Bozize's candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections.

The former general seized power in a 2003 coup but was overthrown in a 2013 rebellion. Several militia groups, some close to Bozize, have since attacked civilians, armed forces, and the UN peacekeeping forces.

Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has won a second term as president, has reiterated his commitment to peace.

Some 30,000 people fled into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Republic of Congo. The UN refugee agency said tens of thousands more have been displaced inside the country.

*Rodrigue Forku in Cameroon contributed to this report

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