5, January 2017
Gunmen have killed two Moroccan peacekeepers with a UN mission in the southeast of the Central African Republic (CAR). MINUSCA, or the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, said in a statement on Wednesday that the peacekeepers were attacked while they were escorting fuel trucks on Tuesday afternoon about 60 kilometers west of the town of Obo.
MINUSCA said two other peacekeepers were injured in the attack. The attackers “fled into the bush.” Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the head of MINUSCA, denounced the attack, saying, “No claim can justify individuals directing their grievances against peacekeepers whose presence on CAR soil is only aimed at helping the country emerge from the cycle of violence.”
In March 2013, the Central African Republic toppled into chaos when then President Francois Bozize was ousted by the mainly Seleka rebel alliance and was replaced by Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia, the first Muslim to hold the presidency in the generally-Christian nation.
The coup, however, caused a series of deadly retaliatory attacks between the Seleka rebels and the Christian militia known as anti-balaka, who reacted by engaging in large-scale attacks against the minority Muslims. Some 13,000 peacekeepers have been deployed to the country by the UN as part of MINUSCA. Civilians, however, say it does not do enough to protect them against scores of armed groups.