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CAR: UN Deploys Peacekeepers to Thwart Election Disruption Attempts

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Central African Republic

Political tensions are Mounting in the Central African Republic

The United Nations deployed peacekeeping forces on Friday in Bossemptélé and Bossembélé v two localities reportedly seized in the Ombella-M'Poko region by armed elements of the 3R, the MPC and anti-Balaka.

These are three of the largest groups that occupy two-thirds of the Central African Republic and they announced their merger and the creation of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in a statement issued Saturday — as they also invited "all other armed groups to join" in their cause.

The CPC's blockade activity near the capital Banguiin comes in light of massive electoral fraud fears from the opposition and the armed coalition has also threatened to attack President Faustin Archangel Touadéra if he seeks a perceived fraudulent second term in office.

The UN has denounced "a deliberate attempt to disrupt the presidential and legislative elections" on 27 December and the organisation’s peacekeepers are "on high alert" to prevent armed groups "from disrupting the elections” in the country as part of its mission.

Background

The Central African Republic has been ravaged by civil war after a coalition of Muslim-dominated armed groups, the Séléka, overthrew the regime of President François Bozizé in 2013. Clashes between Séléka and Christian militias and anti-Balaka animists resulted in thousands of deaths.

Since 2018, the war has evolved into a low-intensity conflict, where armed groups compete for control of the country's resources — mainly livestock and minerals, while regularly perpetrating abuses against the civilian population.

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