Central African Republic: 12 combatants killed after clashes with peacekeepers

Twelve combatants from an armed rebel group who were trying to penetrate a city in the northeast of the Central African Republic perished when fighting on Sunday with the peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), the government announced on Tuesday.

“On Sunday February 16, 2020, the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC) made an incursion into the locality of Birao” before being fought by Minusca, according to government spokesman Ange-Maxime Kazagui in a press release published on Tuesday. “The death toll shows 12 dead on the FPRC side,” he added, adding that Central African soldiers were also engaged.

Sunday, the FPRC launched a new offensive on the city in the northeast of the country and held by the Movement of Central African Liberators for Justice (MLCJ), a rival militia. Birao is the scene of regular clashes between these two movements, despite being signatories in Khartoum of a peace agreement a year ago between 14 armed groups, and also between the rebels and the government. The agreement, which was supposed to end a deadly civil war that started in 2013, has resulted in a significant drop in fighting, but two-thirds of the territory is still held by rebel groups.

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