Category Archives: Conflict

Wounded and dead in Bambari CAR

Militants killed two police officers in the Central African Republic town of Bambari ahead of a scheduled visit by the country’s President, the government said. The attack came a day after President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced a date for African Union-brokered peace talks with armed groups who control most of the CAR.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it had treated 30 people for bullet wounds, while local media reported 10 people killed, however this information was impossible to verify.

United Nationas MINUSCA sent peacekeepers to the site of the clashes, spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said. Its troops there had come under fire a day earlier, he added.

According to an internal UN report a militant called “General Bello,” in charge of UPC fighters in Bambari, had been wounded. Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), has been dominant around Bambari.

Portuguese peacekeepers battled for five hours to protect civilians and restore order after militants killed two police officers in Bambari ahead of a scheduled visit by the country’s president on Thursday, January 10.

Russian journalists victims of CAR armed robbery

The investigation has restored a sequence of events concerning the fatal trip of three Russian journalists – Orkhan Dzhemal, Kirill Radchenko and Alexander Rastroguyev – to the Central African Republic (CAR), where they were murdered in July 2018, Russian Investigative Committee Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko told TASS.

The Investigation Management Center (IMC) web project promised a reward of $20,000 to the Russian journalists if they shoot a documentary in the CAR, considered to be one of ten most dangerous countries in the world. Nevertheless, no protection was provided to the journalists who arrived to the country with tourist visas and did not receive credentials,” Petrenko said.

According to the Russian investigators IMC contacted Cyrill Romanovsky who gave them a telephone number of the so-called fixer who acted under name Martin.

Romanovsky promised to provide accommodation and a driver to the journalists during their stay in Africa. Petrenko underlined that the three arrived to the country’s capital of Bangui on July 28, 2018, which was two days before the planned date, and failed to meet Martin.

Their driver testified that he had met the Russian journalists in one of Bangui’s cafes on the day of their arrival. “Since he knows English and has a pickup truck, the journalists suggested he accompany them on their trips around the country. The fixer named Martin was not involved,Petrenko said, adding that the driver had no connection to the CAR Gendarmerie.

On July 30, 2018, the journalists departed from Bangui to the city of Sibut where they arrived the same night. When they were leaving the city, Central African military servicemen warned them that it was dangerous to travel at nighttime but the Russians continued their trip, saying they were short of time,” the spokesperson explained.

She added that even military patrols preferred to avoid night trips, given the number of armed gangs active in the country. “A group of armed black men who spoke Arabic stopped the car near a village 23 kilometers from Sibut. The attackers ordered everyone to get out of the car and demanded they gave up all of their belongings, photo and video devices. When the Russians refused and tried to resist the attack, they were gunned down, while the driver managed to flee the scene in the car,” Petrenko explained.

According to Petrenko, the investigation sent requests for legal assistance to the Central African Republic’s law enforcement agencies. “The vesicle was examined, witnesses who had seen the journalists in Bangui and Sibut were questioned. All the cars passing through that checkpoint in Sibut are also being checked, as well as those that were present in the area on the night of the murder,” she continued, underlining that the request was partially answered within the capabilities of local authorities.

At his stage the investigation is focused on identification of the murderers of the Russians. “It must be clarified that by initiating media reports on the matter, the Investigation Management Center project clearly seeks to justify the mistakes it made during preparations for the trip, this is why it prefers to put forward its own theories and accuse the innocent,” Petrenko said.

The corpses of three men were found near the city of Sibut (300 km north of Bangui) on July 30. The Russian Foreign Ministry said later that the all three of them had been carrying press cards in the names of Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal.

The Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal investigation into the murder and sent an investigation team to Africa.

There are reports of rebel activity, banditry and hostage-taking across the country. The situation in the capital, Bangui remains fragile with periodic instances of killings, looting and gunfire. There are armed patrols in Bangui and you will encounter several roadblocks – official and unofficial – that are likely to be manned by armed personnel. Take particular care when approaching these. You are strongly advised not to travel around Bangui especially after dark. You should take extreme care, and travel in groups if possible.” – the UK foreign travel advice warns.
Taking photographs which the authorities deem as damaging the image of the country (street children, people with disabilities) is not permitted.”…You can get a permit for more serious photography from the Ministry of Tourism“. 

One of the world’s poorest countries, the CAR degraded into bloodshed after longtime leader Francois Bozize was overthrown in 2013 by a predominantly Muslim rebel alliance called the Seleka.

The vast territories of the country have succumbed to  violent militant groups. Since the fall of the Bozize, there has been no government control outside of the capital. Armed gangs have set up checkpoints, collect illegal taxes, and cash millions of dollars from the illicit coffee, mineral, and timber trades.

 

 

 

 

Somalia expels UN official

Somalia has expelled the top  United Nations official accusing him of interfering with national sovereignty days after he raised concerns about the actions of UN-supported Somali security forces.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, is no longer welcome in Somalia and cannot operate in the country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Haysom was accused of “violating protocols” and “deliberately interfering” in the internal affairs of the Horn of Africa country.

There was no immediate reaction from the UN mission in Somalia.

The order is issued a few days after Haysom raised concerns about the action of Somalia’s UN-backed security services in recent clashes with demonstrators contesting the arrest of former al-Shabab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow in the southern city of Baidoa last month, leaving 15 people dead and 300 people arrested.

#Baidoa: violent clashes in Somalia

The following international partners* (listed below) are concerned about the recent events in South West State. We extend our deepest condolences for the death of the South West State assembly member and others who have died in the violence in Baidoa. We deplore all violence and any other acts that could exacerbate the humanitarian situation” says the text of the joint statement.

“The international community underscores that there should be unified support for the agreed framework governing the elections, and urges all parties to respect the integrity of the electoral process. We encourage constructive dialogue to resolve political differences and address other challenges in order to advance the political and economic progress of the country.”

* =  Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, AMISOM and the United Nations.

Social media reports killings of civilians, fires, and even AMISOM tanks in the street.

 

Uganda delivered EU arms to South Sudan

Uganda helped to deliver European arms and ammunition to South Sudan at the height of its civil war, circumventing a European Union arms embargo on the East African country, a weapons monitoring group said.

The Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said South Sudan arranged for the Ugandan government to provide end-user assurances for purchases of weapons and ammunition from Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.

We have a paper trail from point of manufacture, through export to Uganda, through diversion to South Sudan, and to the recovery of the weapons on the battlefield,” said James Bevan, head of CAR.

The weaponry, delivered to Uganda in 2014 and 2015, was then transferred to neighboring South Sudan, CAR said in a report based on four years of research.

 

Libya remains in political deadlock

The UN envoy for Libya Ghassan Salame expressed hope for  another attempt to hold an election by June 2019 after he abandoned scheduled one for December this year, but he added that Libyans should first use a national conference early 2019 to decide on the poll’s format. Ambassador expressed himself at margins of the conference taking place on 12-13 of November “For Libya with Libya” in Palermo, Italy.

The diplomat announced the decision  to abandon plans of this year elections scheduled  on December 10 after a break out of violence, which has not come to the halt since the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi  in 2011. However it is not clear if the adjusted new schedule will go through after the rejection of the the major political rival of he Western-backed Chairman of the Natiional Accord Governemnt in Tripoli Fayez Al-Sarraj to take part in the tailored discussion on the second day of the conference.

Reportedly Marshall Khalifa Haftar aides indicated that the commander, in case he arrives, will discuss exclusively combating terrorism and will not attend plenary sessions on November, 12 focused on finding a modality for a political deal to end ongoing fighting among Libya‘s multiple militias and other factions.

The Conference on Libya is hosted by Prime minister Guiseppe Conte, whose chances of making it into a success are slim in absence of will to compromise between two major rivals – Al-Sarraj and Haftar, and lack of interest from the leadership of France and Germany, who did not attend the  event.

“It’s fundamental to seize this opportunity to back the cease-fire, to facilitate discussions for the realizations of new security assets in Tripoli and to show the international community’s determination to sustain the creation and deployment of regular armed forces and security forces,Conte was quoted as interviewed by La Stampa.

Mogadishu explosion death toll rises

The triple explosion  and following gunfire attack next to the hotel in Mogadishu area claimed lives of 39 people and left 17 wounded, media has been reporting  since November 9 afternoon, when the suicide bomber used his device.

Security guards at the Sahafi hotel and an office next door opened fire after two suicide car bombs went off. A third blast from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel also hit the busy street.

We have confirmed 39 civilians died and 40 others were injured in yesterday’s blasts,” said a police officer in the Mogadishu.

“The death toll may rise because some people are still missing.” The owner of Sahafi Hotel has been also killed in he attack just three years after his father died in a similar assault.

Al-Shabab claimed it targeted government officials staying at the hotel.

Some reports say armed militants stormed the building guarded by security officers after the first of at least three bomb blasts.

Eyewitnesses spoke of heavy gunfire in the area.

 

 

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