Armed groups attack C African city Bangassou

4 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

BANGUI: Armed groups attacked the Central African Republic’s southeastern city of Bangassou on Sunday, weeks after rebels were accused of an attempted coup and days before expected results from a tense presidential election.

A coalition of rebel groups, which control two thirds of the coup-prone country, has been waging an offensive since last month initially aimed at disrupting elections that were nonetheless held on December 27.

“The city has been under attack since 5.25 am (0425 GMT), and there are clashes everywhere,” Rosevel Pierre Louis, head of the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA’s regional office in Bangassou, told AFP.

Bangassou’s Bishop Aguirre confirmed that the clashes had started from 5:00 am, saying “there are gunshots and detonations around the city centre”. The landlocked country is one of the poorest in the world and among the most volatile, suffering coups and wars since independence from France in 1960.