AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Intense gunfire in Bangui, civilians flee

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Intense gunfire in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on the eve of the vote of the UN Security Council for a resolution that authorizes the intervention of the French and African troops in the Country. "We have received communication from our correspondent in Bangui that at 5 am this morning, the inhabitants were awakened by intense gunfire in the neighborhoods of the north and center of the city", says to Fides Agency Valerie Kaye, a Caritas Internationalis manager.
According to Caritas, 10,000 people have fled the city to escape the fighting, while at the moment we have no information on the number of victims.
The anti Balaka, the self-defense group formed to fight the Seleka rebels, had declared that it intended to take control of Bangui as from December 1. Apparently this militia decided to attack the capital on the eve of the approval of the UN resolution which gives the African Union force in the Central African Republic (MISCA) the mandate to protect civilians, restore order and security, stabilize the Country, and to facilitate the sending of humanitarian aid to the population in need.
Finally, the resolution authorizes French forces in the Country to "take all necessary measures to support MISCA in the execution of its mandate". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/12/2013)