At least 11 people have been shot dead in a camp for displaced people in the Central African Republic (CAR) a few days after over two dozen others lost their lives in fresh sectarian violence. According to a statement released by the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR, known as MINUSCA, at least 10 other people were also injured on Saturday after an unspecified number of gunmen started shooting in the camp, located in the town of Ngakobo, some 300 kilometers northeast of the capital Bangui.
It added that the assailants, who committed “these dreadful acts,” had not been identified yet. On October 12, 30 people were killed and at least 57 were injured in the central town of Kaga Bandoro, when a group of ex-Seleka fighters and their sympathizers reacted furiously to the death of one of their members who was killed when he and three others tried to steal a generator from a local radio station. The deadly incident occurred after the group attacked civilians and clashed with the UN peacekeepers. The UN troops killed at least 12 former Seleka fighters in the skirmishes that ensued.
In March 2013, the Central African Republic plunged into chaos when then-President Francois Bozize was toppled by the mainly Seleka rebel alliance only to be replaced by Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia, the first Muslim to hold the presidency in the mainly Christian country.
The move, however, sparked a series of deadly retaliatory attacks between the Seleka rebels and Christian vigilantes known as anti-balaka, who reacted by engaging in full-scale attacks against the minority Muslims. One in 10 of the country’s 4.5 million people was forced to flee to safer regions as the impoverished nation plunged into violence along ethnic and religious fault lines. Thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the resource-rich country, as it suffered its biggest crisis in its half-century of independence during the period of violence in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014, some 11,000 peacekeepers were deployed by the UN to the country as part of the established United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). On July 23, 2014, Seleka and anti-balaka representatives signed a ceasefire agreement in the Congolese capital Brazzaville, but the country has not yet fully emerged from its bloody past.