The rebels, who are leading an offensive against the regime of Central African President Faustin Archange Touadéra, freshly declared re-elected on December 27, 2020, launched two simultaneous attacks on Wednesday January 13 at the entrance to Bangui which were repulsed, told AFP the Minister of the Interior, Henri Wanzet Linguissara.
These two attacks were confirmed to AFP by officials of the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), on condition of anonymity, while the spokesperson for the peacekeepers in the country, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall , mentioned ” an attack “ and clashes still ongoing.
These are the first clashes at the gates of Bangui since the rebels announced an offensive almost a month ago. At dawn, 9 and 12 kilometers from the center of the capital, the army brigades “Were attacked simultaneously but, thanks to the bravery of our forces and bilateral support, we were able to repel the attackers who are currently in disarray”, assured the Minister of the Interior.
“This morning at around 6 am in Bangui, the position of Minusca at kilometer point 12 was attacked by armed elements” and triggered “An immediate response, before the sending of reinforcements on the spot. No injuries are to be deplored Minusca side ”, explained Lieutenant-Colonel Fall. “The exchanges of fire have decreased, but the situation remains tense”, he added two hours after the outbreak of the attack.
On December 19, 2020, eight days before the presidential and legislative elections, a coalition of six of the most powerful armed groups, which have occupied two-thirds of the Central African Republic since the start of the civil war eight years ago, announced an offensive to prevent the re-election of Mr. Touadéra.
The latter was declared re-elected on January 4 after a poll that was highly contested by the opposition, for which only one in two registered voters had the opportunity to go to the polls due to insecurity outside Bangui.
The rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) had until then carried out sporadic attacks generally repelled by the peacekeepers supported by large contingents heavily armed of Rwandan soldiers and Russian paramilitaries freshly disembarked to the rescue of the government and of his army.
These attacks had hitherto taken place mainly in towns and villages far from the capital. Thus, in Grimari Tuesday, 300 kilometers northeast of Bangui, “The armed elements of the CPC launched an attack against the Central African forces and the Minusca, using mortar shells in particular against the base” Burundian peacekeepers, assured Lieutenant-Colonel Fall. The clashes did not result in any casualties, but “More than 350 civilians are currently under the protection of Burundian soldiers”, he added.