On Monday, July 13, a Rwandan peacekeeper from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) was killed in an attack in the northwest Central African Republic. The attack occurred in the Gedze area of the Nana-Mambéré prefecture when a MINUSCA convoy was ambushed, with two other peacekeepers being wounded in the incident. According to a statement by the UN, the attack was allegedly carried out by the Return, Reclamation, and Rehabilitation (3R) rebel group.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement strongly condemning the attack.
Similar attacks are likely in the near and medium-term.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered recurrent bouts of civil conflict since December 2012, which has led to hundreds of deaths and almost 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and has pushed more than 500,000 people to seek refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Chad. Although a peace agreement between armed groups and the government was signed in February 2019, clashes between various armed groups continue to be reported.
Multiple attacks attributed to 3R rebels have been reported in the northwest of the country since the group's leader announced their withdrawal from the 2019 peace agreement in June, including an attack on MINUSCA peacekeepers near the Ouham-Pende prefecture town of Paoua early on June 9. The attacks have seen an increase in tensions across Nana-Mambéré and Ouham-Pende in anticipation of further rebel activity, with hundreds of people reported to have fled remote communities in some areas.
Those in the CAR are advised to monitor developments, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and remain vigilant for potential rebel activity in their own area of operations. A number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to most of the east of the country for various security reasons, including the presence of armed groups.
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