16 dead, thousands displaced in C Africa clashes: UN


Bangui—Central African Republic, Nov 24 (APP/AFP): Clashes between rival armed groups in the Central African Republic have left at least 16 people dead and displaced several thousand civilians, the UN said Wednesday.
“There have been at least 16 confirmed death and thousands displaced,” Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for United Nations peacekeeping force MINUSCA, said in a statement.
The violence erupted on Monday between rival factions of the former “Seleka” rebel group in the town of Bria, 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Bangui.
MINUSCA said Tuesday that one of its bases had come under fire during the clashes before its troops drove the attackers out with retaliatory gunfire. It announced reinforcements were being sent to the base to protect some 5,000 civilians sheltering there.
The fighting broke out between the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC).
The two factions are fighting for control of taxes levied on Fulani herders during the current seasonal migration.
Lambert Lissane, a senior FPRC official, said the group and other ex-Seleka armed groups were negotiating a deal with the government but that UPC chief Ali Darass did not want to take part.
“We have decided to stand together against him,” Lissane said.—AFP