AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Violent clashes in Bria, in the east of the Country

Friday, 23 June 2017 armed groups  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Unfortunately, the situation in Central Africa is deteriorating despite the peace agreements signed on June 19 in Rome", say Missionary sources to Agenzia Fides, from Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic. "In Bangui, the situation is calm. What is causing concern are the clashes in other areas of the country. In particular in Bria, where 40 have died, maybe even 100".
Bria, in the east of the Country, is a strategic city for controlling the mining resources of the area, especially diamonds. According to agency news, clashes arise from an internal division of the Front Populaire for the Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC), one of the various armed groups born out of the former rebel Seleka alliance. However, FPRC denied that it had been implicated and accused the anti-balaka (anti-Seleka self-defense militias) of attacking the city where several people sought shelter in the Catholic parish.
On 19 June, thanks to the mediation of Sant'Egidio Community, 13 Central African rebels and Bangui government signed an agreement for the immediate ceasefire. The UN Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA), which has deployed 10,000 men in the Country, cannot control the whole territory. MINUSCA is also plagued by scandals such as those of violence and sexual abuse by some of its members. All this has caused the local population to lose confidence in the "Blue Helmets", making the path to the Country's pacification more difficult. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 23/6/2017)