Sporadic gunfire rang out in the capital of the Central African Republic despite a curfew imposed following weekend violence that claimed at least 20 lives, residents said today. The workers who gave the tolls spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press.
On Sunday, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said in a statement that their teams working in the city’s Mpoko camp, Castor hospital and Hopital General had been pressed to activate mass-casualty plans to cope with an influx of the injured.
United Nations helicopters with a peacekeeping force flew overhead but witnesses said little was done to stop the clashes.
The security minister, Dominique Said Paguindji, blamed the violence on elements of the anti-balaka Christian militia, the Muslim Séléka rebels and supporters of the former president Francois Bozize, who want to see him return to power.
“The attacks were repulsed, causing some fatalities amid the assailants”, added the source, without providing further details.
After the death of the driver, whose throat was allegedly slit, clashes and looting spread to nearby districts.
There had not been any attacks in Bangui for months until a grenade attack earlier in September.
Still in the shadow of two years of violence that erupted after Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country in 2013, thousands of Central Africans have died and scores more remain displaced.
The country is in the grips of its own disaster where the confrontation between the Muslim groups Seleka and the mainly Christian and animist group anti-Balaka is committing serious human rights violations.
Presidential and legislative elections are due to be held by the end of the year, but they have already been pushed back several times as the country continues to grapple with the crisis.