Fresh rebel attack in Central Africa

24 July 2016 - 18:03 By AFP

At least three people were killed in an attack by militia in the troubled Bambari region of the Central African Republic, informed sources said Sunday.

Armed herdsmen and fighters from the mainly muslim former rebel Seleka movement attacked the southern town of Ngakobo, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) outside Bambari, Saturday, "firing on sight" at houses, a police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity."At least three people were killed and several more injured," he added, adding hundreds of local people had fled their homes for neighbouring villages.Isaac Gonaba, a teacher, said a fellow teacher was among the dead and indicated two employees from the local Sucaf sugar factory had also been killed.Other residents reported the situation as calm Sunday but that armed men were still in the vicinity.Ngakobo saw a spate of attacks during two years of widespread unrest between 2013 and 2015 which saw about half a million people displaced after the ousting of long-serving president Francois Bozize, a Christian by a Seleka-led rebel alliance.During that period Seleka fighters sacked and occupied the sugar plant for a year before it finally reopened in mid-2014.President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who took office earlier this year, earlier this month indicated the country remained "in danger" with "entire regions" occupied by armed groups.Touadera was elected in a peaceful vote in February, helped by a 12,000-strong UN force.But the long-restive country has seen a resurgence of violence since mid-June.Earlier this month, the United Nations said thousands of people had fled renewed violence in what is one of the world's poorest countries to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon after clashes between livestock herders and local arable farmers in the northwest.Other challenges facing Touadera aside from disarming armed groups include rebuilding the army and helping 415,000 people internally displaced inside the country, which has a population of some 4.5 million.

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