The UN peace keeping force in the Central African Republic on Saturday repulsed armed militia men from entering the town of Bambari, in the eastern part of the country.
According to a statement released by MINUSCA, the faction of former Seleka rebels, the Front Populaire Pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC), had advanced towards Ippy region near Bambari, forcing MINUSCA troops to intervene using a UN attack helicopter and stop the militia men from entering the town.
The statement added, “MINUSCA had no choice but to stop the advance of elements from the FPRC coalition to avoid a confrontation in Bambari that would have had grave consequences for the already traumatized civil population.”
AFP reported that least 20 militia men have been killed following week-long clashes pitting two rival factions of the ex-Seleka rebels.The fighting broke out last Saturday in a mining town located 40 km away from Bambari.
Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, who are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.
Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.
The humanitarian situation in the country remains difficult and it is estimated that 400,000 people remain displaced due to conflict and 2.2 million others are in need of humanitarian assistance.