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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Central African troops, rebels, report deadly clashes

Central African troops, rebels, report deadly clashesAFP/File – Central African Republic Army Forces soldiers are pictured at a military camp in Birao, in 2008. Government …

BANGUI (AFP) – Government troops and rebels in the Central African Republic have been involved in deadly clashes in the northwest of the country, sources on both sides told AFP Saturday.

Rebels of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) said they had killed 24 soldiers in the fighting at Ndele, while the army said they had lost two men.

"The clashes lasted a few hours during the day (Friday)," said a statement from CPJP spokesman Assan M'bringa Togbo, sent AFP inLibreville.

"The current toll in the ranks of the enemy is 24 dead -- including three officers -- and some wounded," the statement added.

But an officer contacted by AFP in Bangui dismissed the rebel figures, saying two soldiers had been killed and six wounded in the fighting.

The CPJP statement said the fighting had broken out when a heavily armed army convoy of six vehicles had attacked their camp at 10:00 am (0900 GMT) Friday, but had been driven off by their forward observation post.

They rebels had suffered no casualties and had captured one army vehicle and some ammunition, said the statement.

The CPJP rebels were led by former mines minister Charles Massi until his recent capture when he crossing into neighbouring Chad.

He awaits trial there for "attempted destabiliation of a neighbouring country".

Massi was a minister in the government of CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse, who was ousted in 2003 by the current Centrafrican president, Francois Bozize.

The CPJP rebels have refused to sign up to a peace process in the CAR, clashing repeated with the in the northwestern Ndele region, near the border with Chad.

1 comment:

John Bosco said...

Central Africa Republic is a landlocked country so Where does the rebels get their weapons? Could it come from the neighbouring countries? I will not be surprised if it did.

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