BANGUI, Jan 26 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Central African Republic troops killed 44 rebel fighters participating in a push to encircle the capital Bangui and overturn newly-reelected President Faustin Archange Touadera, the government said.
Together with “allied forces”, the CAR army launched an offensive in the village of Boyali, around 90 kilometres from the capital, with no casualties on the government side and “44 dead including several mercenaries from Chad, Sudan and the Fulani” ethnic group, the government posted on Facebook.
When the government says “allies” it usually refers to Rwandan troops and Russian paramilitaries who have been sent to the conflict-ridden country to reinforce federal troops.
“Government forces are back on the offensive,” government spokesman Ange-Maxime Kazagui said.
He added that troops had captured the village of Boda, 124 kilometers from Bangui, with the support of Russian fighters.
The country’s six most powerful armed groups, which control two-thirds of CAR territory in an eight-year conflict, joined forces in December, calling themselves the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CCP).
On Dec 19, they announced an offensive on Bangui aimed at preventing Touadera from being re-elected in the presidential election on Dec 27.
But the capital was protected by a well-equipped force of 12,000 UN peacekeepers from the MINUSCA mission, as well as Central African troops and Russian and Rwandan reinforcements.
The government’s announcement on Monday on the success of the attack is the first time that authorities have released such a precise statement on casualties among forces other than the UN peacekeepers.
The UN has warned of rebels trying to “strangle” the capital by cutting off the three main roads leading to it. — NNN-AGENCIES)
Source: Nam News Network (NNN)