The UN Security Council has denounced Wednesday's attack on the Central African Republic capital Bangui that left one blue helmet dead. It marks the first attack by the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebel group on the capital, a key objective for the rebels who oppose the government.
A declaration in New York by members of the Security Council and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres criticised the breaking of the CAR peace deal, as well as violence carried out by armed groups in opposition to December’s electoral process.
A Rwandan peacekeeper was killed in Bangui in an attack by CPC rebels on Wednesday morning in fighting with Central African soldiers, the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA and Russian paramilitary forces, following an incursion into the capital.
Rebels targeted a MINUSCA vehicle on patrol in the north of Bangui. At the same time armed men tried to cross the bridge from the PK9 neighbourhood to the western entrance to the city, correspondent Charlotte Cosset reported.
By Wednesday afternoon, calm had returned to the city centre, although distant gunfire was heard.
New measures put in place after the attack extended a curfew across CAR from 18:00 to 05:00.
UN diplomats blamed former President Francois Bozizé for organising the rebel offensive, according to correspondent Carrie Nooten.
Violence sparked in the run-up to the country’s 27 December elections, with the rebel groups aligned with Bozizé against Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who won re-election.
Action Against Hunger, a France-based humanitarian organisation said food insecurity is a threat following recent violence in the country, in a statement published on Thursday.
The NGO said the new wave of violence risks worsening an already complicated humanitarian situation.
“For displaced people, rising prices combine with loss of livelihood,” said Mathilde Lambert, CAR director for Action Against Hunger, referring to the challenges facing by those fleeing violence.