Tensions In Central African Republic As Fresh Clashes Killed 10

Central African Republic gendarmes and police officers stand guard in Bangui on January 2, 2016. By Issouf Sanogo (AFP/File)

Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) - Clashes between rival rebel factions have left at least 10 dead and 25 injured in Central African Republic, police said Tuesday, raising fears of fresh unrest in one of the world's most volatile nations.

The clashes come as the UN warns of a possible upsurge of violence in a country where thousands died and one in 10 people were displaced in a three-year spiral of communal violence.

"At least 10 people were killed" in Bambari some 300 kilometres (190 miles) north of the capital Bangui, a police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The officer said the unrest involved rival elements of a faction -- the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) -- of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel group which took power after the March 2013 ouster of long-serving Christian president Francois Bozize.

Violence following the coup involved both Muslim Seleka militia and Christian vigilante groups -- known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete) -- and displaced almost a tenth of the 4.8 million people.

Trouble subsided significantly when France sent in nearly 2,500 troops, and the UN dispatched a 12,600-strong MINUSCA peacekeeping force, allowing elections to be staged earlier this year.

In Geneva on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said it was urgent to disarm remaining militia groups to avoid a fresh upsurge in violence.

Zeid's office has warned of increasing tensions in the past three weeks in Bangui, despite the elections being seen as a key step toward reconciliation.

Source: AFP
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