Africa 16.8.2016 10:02 am

UN peacekeepers and gunmen in CAR exchange fire

UN peacekeepers in South Sudan with one of their helicopters (UNMISS)

UN peacekeepers in South Sudan with one of their helicopters (UNMISS)

The armed standoff ended with the arrest and detention of 10 gunmen.

An armed standoff between UN peacekeepers and heavily armed men in the Central African Republic (CAR) ended with the arrest and detention of 10 gunmen.

The UN said on Tuesday that after the confrontation, which took place near Sibut, the capital of Kemo Prefucture, on Saturday, vehicles and a significant quantity of weapons and munitions were also seized.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) reported that the gunmen arrested were part of a convoy of 35 men, some wanted by the authorities and the subject of arrest warrants.

The heavily-armed men exchanged fire with national security forces at several checkpoints en route, and these incidents resulted in a number of deaths and injuries, according to MINUSCA.

“Early Saturday morning, MINUSCA forces blocked the convoy of seven vehicles from proceeding 50 km south of Sibut and demanded that all weapons and munitions should be surrendered,” the UN reported

“This demand was rejected, and a standoff ensued for several hours.”

MINUSCA remained in contact with the CAR government throughout this episode, including at the highest levels, seeking to deploy a joint team of government authorities who have the primary responsibility for the restoration and maintenance of public safety and the rule of law.

The UN Security Council (UNSC), in its most recent resolution on the situation in the CAR, demanded that all militias and armed groups lay down their arms, and cease all forms of violence and destabilising activities.

MINUSCA reiterated its appeal to all armed groups and militias to adhere to the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation process initiated by President Faustin-Archange Touadéra and encouraged all Central Africans to prioritise dialogue.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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