Once a bustling trade hub between the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad, Bamingui Bangoran Prefecture is now mired in fear and insecurity. Despite the expulsion of rebels from major towns by CAR armed forces and their Russian allies, instability persists in the outskirts, severely impeding the free movement of goods and people.
Hundreds of civilians have fled surrounding villages to escape the atrocities committed by armed groups, seeking refuge in Ndélé or Bamingui further west. Henry, a resident of the town of Ndiki, shared his experiences: “Killings, robberies, and the burning of homes are commonplace. We are truly suffering. We call for increased deployment of CAR armed forces to protect us.”
In recent weeks, rebels have launched surprise attacks against CAR armed forces and their Russian allies patrolling the region. Gilbert Gbangoundou, the prefect of Bamingui Bangoran, emphasized the need for reinforcements and logistical support to secure the border: “Bandits recently invaded the village of Ndiki, located 140 km away, and cold-bloodedly killed 13 people. Moreover, a FACa base was attacked 115 km from Ndélé. We require additional personnel and resources to cover the border effectively.”
Bamingui Bangoran Prefecture was the main stronghold of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of CAR from 2013 to 2020. While CAR armed forces, with Russian support, regained control of this locality, clashes between loyalist forces and rebels persisted in the peripheries, contributing to ongoing instability and insecurity.