Central African armed forces neutralize 200 rebels
Army takes control of Niem town, says president's security adviser
The Central African Republic armed forces have neutralized about 200 rebels and taken control of the strategic town of Niem, an official announced on Friday.
Valery Zakharov, a security adviser to CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera, tweeted Friday: “The FACA [Central African Armed Forces] has taken control of the town of Niem.”
“This is a very important strategic point,” Zakharov said, adding about 200 rebels were neutralized during the operation. The CAR "allies took part in the planning of the operation and provided moral support to the soldiers," he added.
The town of Niem is located 63 kilometers (39 miles) from Bouar in the western part of the Central African country.
Taking control of Niem is a victory for the country's armed forces in the war it has waged against the rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in December 2020.
The CPC was formed by six rebel groups on Dec. 15, 2020, with the aim to disrupt the country’s elections and oust President Touadera.
On Monday, the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), a major armed group in the war-torn country, announced that it will quit the CPC coalition.
It said the crisis has created conditions in which “the population has suffered bitterly from the insecurity, the health situation, the famine and the non-humanitarian assistance.”
The situation in the landlocked African country worsened after the rejection of former President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for the December 2020 presidential election.
Hostilities between a coalition of non-state armed groups and the government forces have continued over the past four months, plunging the country into a new cycle of violence.