A new armed group has emerged in the Central African Republic after killing at least 50 civilians and displaced around 17,000, the Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.
The group is known as “Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation”, or 3R.
The rights group claim that the group appeared in late 2015 to protect the minority Peul population, who are mostly Muslim cattle herders, from attacks by Christian anti-balaka militias. It now has hundreds of well-armed fighters who control territory near Cameroon’s border.
The group has also burned villages and raped women and girls in an apparent bid to punish local communities for perceived anti-balaka support
Since France ended a 3-year peacekeeping mission in October, maintaining security has fallen largely to MINUSCA, a 13,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force that civilians say does not do enough to protect them.