Clashes erupt in CAR a day after peace deal

June 21, 2017

Intense fighting in the Central African Republic killed at least 40 people Tuesday and injured dozens more, dashing hopes for stability in the strife-torn country the day after the signing of a ceasefire deal.

The violence in the central town of Bria was between members of Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militias and fighters formerly belonging to a coalition of Muslim-majority rebel groups called the Seleka, aid and security sources said.

Central African Republic military cadets parade during their graduation ceremony in Bangui, in April this year. European Union soldiers are training thousands of new troops that could be deployed to the countryside. (Photo: Zack Baddorf/AP)
The clashes erupted after the CAR government and rebel groups agreed to an immediate ceasefire on Monday, a deal brokered by the Catholic community Sant’Egidio in five days of negotiations in Rome.

It was hailed as a precious chance to stabilise one of the world’s most volatile and poorest countries.

Under the agreement, armed groups were granted political representation in exchange for an end to attacks and blockades.

However, intense shooting began in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with dozens taken to hospital suffering from bullet wounds, said Mumuza Muhindo Musubaho, project coordinator for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Bria. By evening, 43 people were counted as injured, according to the charity.