At least 10 people were killed and over 25 others injured in armed clashes between rebel factions in Bambari in the east of the Central African Republic.
“At least 10 people were killed and there were more than 25 wounded in clashes that erupted on Monday in Bambari,” an officer of the gendarmerie told AFP on Tuesday.
According to the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, the fighting was between members of the Unit of the Central African People (UPC), one of the main armed factions from the former Seleka rebel group that seized power in Bangui in March 2013 before being driven out by an international military intervention in early 2014.
Several civilians were among the victims, he added without specifying their number.
“Gunfire from heavy and light weapons were heard for several hours which drove away many locals towards IDP sites and bases of the UN force (Minusca),” he said.
Minusca officials were not readily available to comment on the violence.
According to residents, the situation had calmed on Tuesday despite sporadic shooting in the morning.
The mining town in eastern Central African Republic where members of the UPC, composed largely of Fulani, are located has been a scene of frequent clashes between armed groups leaving hundreds dead and injured in 2014 and 2015.
The High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, on Monday called for an urgent disarmament of militant groups in the country fearing a further escalation of violence.
“There is an urgent need to disarm the armed groups – who remain far too powerful and retain the potential to reignite the conflict – as well as to restore State authority and rule of law, and to ensure the security of all civilians,” he said.