Violent clashes broke out on Thursday, September 6, in the town of Bria (Center-East) when an ex-Séléka militia attacked the town. At least 12 civilians, including ten women, were killed in the attack. According to reports, the attack was launched in retaliation to an ambush by an anti-balaka militia on an ex-Séléka convoy. Further clashes are possible in the coming days.
Residents in Bria reportedly staged a demonstration in front of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) base in Bria on Friday, September 7. According to local sources, the demonstration was organized to protest MINUSCA's inaction during the attack.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered recurrent bouts of civil conflict since December 2012 which has led to hundreds of deaths, almost 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and pushed more than 500,000 people to seek refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Chad. Clashes between various armed groups continue to be reported on a regular basis despite the June 2017 signing of a ceasefire agreement between the CAR government and 13 out of the 14 rebel groups present in the country.
Numerous Western governments have issued updated travel warnings in recent months due to the current worsening security situation. On April 10, France issued a warning advising its citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. Also on April 10, the US issued a security alert urging their citizens to avoid the capital Bangui's PK5 neighborhood and 7th arrondissement. On April 12, the UK began advising against nonessential travel to central Bangui and against all travel to the rest of the country.
Individuals present in CAR are advised to monitor local developments, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and remain vigilant for potential militant activity.
In general, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to the east and northeast of the country for various security reasons, including the presence of armed groups and ongoing conflicts.
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