In the southeast of the Central African Republic, new fighting has pitted a self-defense group from the Zandé community against UPC rebels since Sunday, around the town of Mboki, 1,200 km from Bangui, which this group controls.
Combatants from the Azande and kpi Gbe group settled in the Mboki area last week, after crossing Haut-Mbomou province in pursuit of elements of the UPC (Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique) that they had driven out of Bambouti at the end of April.
During their assaults, the militiamen of the group, whose name means in French “many Zandes are dead”, also opened fire on a Minusca patrol on Monday, seriously injuring a Moroccan soldier. The blue helmets replied and secure Mboki, fearing abuses against members of the Muslim community, whom the militiamen assimilate to the UPC. No reliable toll was available, but there were deaths on both sides.
Extended action area
Since the beginning of March, the Azande ani kpi Gbe group, which says it was formed in response to the abuses suffered by the Zandés, has expanded its area of action. First located near the border, where it disrupted the trafficking of arms and livestock, it now also operates further west. According to several sources, he would benefit from the reinforcement of South Sudanese soldiers who are members of this community.
The deputies of the province have been asking for months for reinforcements for the Central African Armed Forces (FACA), which cannot leave Obo, the provincial capital, for lack of means. They deplore the government’s silence and inaction on this file.