In the Central African Republic, a new armed coalition was formed almost two weeks ago with the stated goal of interrupting the vote on Sunday 27 December. It had started a descent on Bangui, but had been slowed down by the Central African soldiers, the Rwandan and Russian allied forces as well as by Minusca. On January 2 around 5 a new coalition attack was launched on the city of Damara, 80 kilometers from the capital.
as reported from Bangui,Charlotte Cosset
Armed elements of the coalition tried to take control of the city of Damara. According to Minusca, who was present at the scene, they were repulsed by a heavy system of Central African Armed Forces and their Rwandan allies. Reinforcements would even have arrived by plane on the morning of January 2nd. Security sources also note the presence of Russian forces on the ground.
Part of the population sought refuge in the bush around the city and described heavy gunfire. According to witnesses at the scene, these firings did not stop until late in the morning. Clashes on the roads have also been reported.
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According to Minusca, the situation in Damara is not alarming. The UN mission is “on the spot and in maximum alert”, she assures. At the end of the morning, she did not report any civilian casualties in the city. However, there is no record on the side of the fighters.
The attack on Damara is symbolic because this city is considered the last lock before Bangui. But also because President Touadéra is from this locality.
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