Central African Republic: activities of armed groups on the rise, according to the UN Central African Republic: activities of armed groups on the rise, according to the UN

Central African Republic: activities of armed groups on the rise, according to the UN

Central African Republic: activities of armed groups on the rise, according to the UN

The activities of armed groups in the volatile Central African Republic have increased, complicating a security landscape that has seen a spillover of conflict into neighboring Sudan, UN experts warn in a new report.

The panel cites confirmed reports of air raids carried out by the Sudanese army around border areas and fighters from the paramilitary rapid support forces crossing the country to recruit members of armed groups in the Central African Republic .

Sudan plunged into conflict in mid-April 2023, when long - simmering tensions between its military and paramilitary leaders erupted in the capital Khartoum . Fighting has spread to other regions, including Darfur , which borders the Vakaga region in the northeast of the Central African Republic. According to the United Nations, more than 14,000 people have been killed and 33,000 injured in the fighting in Sudan.

The panel, which monitors sanctions on mercenaries and armed groups in the Central African Republic, said the United Nations had recorded nearly 10,700 Sudanese refugees who had crossed the border by the end of March. He said 565 new refugees, the vast majority women and children, were arriving every week at the Korsi refugee camp in the northern town of Birao.

The war in Sudan has also disrupted the important trade and transport route between the Central African Republic and Sudan's Darfur region, which passes through the Am Dafok border. This situation has worsened the insecurity of the inhabitants of Vakaga and neighboring Haute-Kotto over the past year and slowed down the delivery of aid and increased the cost, according to the group of experts.

The Central African Republic remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite its vast mineral wealth , including gold and diamonds. Rebel groups have operated with impunity across the country for the past decade, thwarting mineral exploration by foreign companies.

The country has been in conflict since 2013, when predominantly Muslim rebels seized power and forced then-President François Bozize from office. Predominantly Christian militias fought back.

A peace deal reached in 2019 did not end the fighting, and six of the 14 signatory armed groups subsequently left the agreement. The Coalition of Patriots for Change , an alliance of rebel groups aligned with Bozize, was founded following the agreement, but experts reported a lack of progress and the breakup of some rebel groups.

Mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group and Russian military instructors are working in the Central African Republic at the request of the government.

Experts said that on December 10, 2023, six waves of explosions were heard at the Russian instructors' base in Kaga Bandoro in the west of the country, and three instructors were killed and seven people injured.

They said the attack appeared to be a response to an assault carried out three days earlier by the country's army and Russian instructors against fighters from the UPC rebel group at the Bara mining site. A dozen UPC fighters were reportedly killed and 30 captured, experts said in the report released Friday.

The panel said the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal armed group accused of mass killings, recruiting boys to fight and using girls as sex slaves , were also disrupted. by the war in Sudan. The LRA is led by one of the world's most wanted men, Joseph Kony, who formed the group in his native Uganda , and later dispersed his followers across parts of central Africa.

The group appears to have left its long-standing bases in the contested Kafia Kingi area and moved to a mountainous area in Haute-Kotto prefecture. This movement brought the LRA closer to towns in the east of the Central African Republic and may have given some members of the group, held against their will, the opportunity to free themselves from the group.

The International Criminal Court said in March it would present evidence to support charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Mr. Kony at the court's first-ever in absentia hearing, which will begin on October 15.

The panel said Kony's son, Ali Kony, himself under UN sanctions, arrived in Uganda last July. The report cites media reports that Ali Kony left his father's group in July 2021.

1 Comments

  1. It threatens fragile peace amid mineral wealth exploitation.

    ReplyDelete
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