AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Rebels flee Birao; uncertainty about the humanitarian situation
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - “Communications with the area of Birao are very difficult because the mobile and fixed telephone network is blown, but from the scant information we have received the city has been evacuated by the CPJP rebels” Fides was told by Bishop Firmin Gbagoua, Vicar General of the Diocese of Bambari, having jurisdiction over the prefecture of Vakaga (in the north-eastern Central African Republic), whose capital, Birao, was attacked by rebels of the “Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix” (CPJP) (see Fides 29/11/2010).
“In recent days the army blocked all major roads leading to Birao. Then the city was bombed. The rebels suffered losses and several of the CPJP men were taken prisoner by the army. The rest of the rebel group fled. Many of the inhabitants of Birao are still in the forest, where they had fled to escape the bombing and fighting.” A spokesman for the CPJP confirmed that the rebels have fled the city.
According to press reports, the majority of military action against the CPJP rebels was conducted by the army of neighbouring Chad, formally intervening in Central African territory to chase a group of Chadian rebels. Chadian planes would have attacked the position of the CPJP in Birao.
Unlike some Central African rebel groups, the CPJP did not sign peace agreements with the government in Bangui. The leader of the CPJP, Charles Massi, a former Central African Minister, died in January 2010 under unclear circumstances while he was detained in a Central African Prison. Massi was arrested in Chad and then transferred to Central Africa. The rebels claim that they will not lay down their arms until light has been shed on the death of their leader. The area operated by the CPJP is located in the north-east of Central Africa, between Birao and Ndélé.
On 23 January 2011 the Central African presidential elections will be held. The candidates are the current President Francois Bozizé; his predecessor, Ange-Félix Patassé; the head of the People's Army for the Restoration of Democracy; Jean-Jacques Demafouth, President of the Central African Congress for the Renaissance; Justin Innocent Wilité; the economist Emile Gros Raymond Nakombo; and the President of the Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People, Martin Ziguelé. (LM) (Agenzia Fides 01/12/2010)
- 2013-06-18 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The Catholic Church at the center of dialogue among the faiths to ease the tension
- 2013-06-14 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "Let us intervene immediately to prevent the Central African Republic to become the Somalia of Central Africa"
- 2013-06-05 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The important thing is to be close to the poor," says the Bishop of the devastated Diocese of Bangassou
- 2013-05-13 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The Central African Republic is likely to become a home for Al Qaeda," says a missionary
- 2013-05-08 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "Planned destruction of Christian churches" the Bishops denounce
- 2013-05-06 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "What are the true intentions of Seleka towards us?" Ask the Bishops
- 2013-05-03 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The looting of the rebels continues, another church desecrated
- 2013-04-25 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - A month after the conquest of Bangui rebels continue to vex the population
- 2013-04-19 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - The Central African Countries promise another 2000 men to ensure safety
- 2013-04-18 AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "More than a thousand people have sought refuge in the hospital" says the Archbishop of Bangui