Central African Republic: Rebels Take Control of Mining Town
The group, consisting of Muslims sum the Minusca soldiers to leave the city
The Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC), an armed group from the former Séléka, has taken control of Bakouma, a mining town in south-central CAR.
The group, made up mostly of Muslims, summons the local authorities and the soldiers of the Minusca, the UN mission, to leave the city, according to the BBC Africa correspondent in Bangui.
According to a member of the city, there were dead people, houses and granaries burned, as well as massive displacements of people in the bush and in nearby towns, during the attack on Sunday.
Abdoulaye Hissène, the leader of the FPRC, says that the rebel group intends to extend its control to the entire Bangassou prefecture, which includes the city of Bakouma.
Bakouma is a strategic city with a large uranium deposit. The French mining company Areva, which acquired the exploitation contract, suspended its activities for reasons remained secret to date, according to our correspondent.
The city also has a diamond deposit. It is also an area of passage of arms trafficking that follows a corridor attached to neighboring Chad and Sudan.
On the orders of his chief of staff, Abdoulaye Hissène, the FPRC sum the prefectural authorities of Bangassou, as well as the soldiers of the Minusca, to leave this city.
Mr. Hissène refuses any discussion with the mission of good offices sent to Bakouma by the Central African authorities. He invokes the non-respect of the agreements signed by the FPRC with Bangui.
The local population has come out to beg the strength of the Minusca to stay by its side and protect it from possible rebel attack. In Bangui, no action has been taken to free the population from the grip of the rebels.