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UN mission reports increased use of explosive devices in Central African Republic

New tactic by rebel group is to prevent peacekeepers, CAR forces from carrying out mandate: UN official

Aurore Bonny   | 12.01.2022
UN mission reports increased use of explosive devices in Central African Republic

DOUALA, Cameroon

The UN mission in the Central African Republic noted a significant increase in the use of explosive devices in the northwest on Wednesday.

MINUSCA spokesman, Maj. Zouhair El Kandoussi, denounced "a new tactic that had not been demonstrated before by elements of the Central African Rebel group called 'Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation,” or 3R.

The group has been planting unidentified explosive devices since the beginning of the year, he said at a news conference. Five were discovered, including three that exploded on Central African Armed Force (FACA) and MINUSCA vehicles near Bohong village on Dec. 30 and 31, he added.

The 3R attacks are aimed at preventing peacekeepers and FACA from carrying out their mandate, according to the UN mission, which anticipates such tactics in future attacks.

The threat continues to grow in the Central African Republic with at least 23 civilians killed between January and November 2021, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The agency documented increasing incidents involving explosive devices since mid-April 2021, particularly in western Central African Republic, an area where conflict has intensified.

It also noted in a recent report that 1,000 people fled to neighboring Cameroon, fearing for their lives after an IED exploded in a village in May, adding that between January and November, nearly 40 IED incidents killed 23 civilians, including children, and injured 29 others in Nana-Mambere, Mambere-Kadei, Ouham-Pende and Ouaka in the west.

The Central African Republic has been in crisis since 2013 when a coalition of armed groups known as the Seleka seized the capital of Bangui.

The emergence of various armed groups has since caused instability in the country.

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