Panic is rife in the streets of the central African capital, Bangui, where the Portuguese military is stationed in the country, as the first round of the December 27 presidential election approaches. According to Reuters, the stars are deserted, shops are closed and people are hiding in their homes, wearing blue helmets.
A few days ago, the UN in the Central African Republic (CAR), with a rapid reaction force of 180 Portuguese troops, arrived. Minusa repulsed the attack on the capital, but much of the country is still in rebel hands.
The Portuguese, who usually have some of the most complex tasks at hand, were at the center of the melee, in Bossembale, which secured a road and was one of the main access points for people and fashion items, the newspaper I told you this Monday. The shooting took place with armed groups, but “any damage to the Portuguese group was quickly resolved without difficulty,” National Defense Minister Jo ஜோo Gomez assured Gravinho.
“At one point before the first round of the presidential election, on December 27, it was highly predictable that tensions would escalate and eventually some clashes would ensue,” the minister explained. The Portuguese forces were, “naturally, ready”.
Meanwhile, 300 Rwandan troops have arrived in CAR, and several international media outlets are talking about the presence of hundreds of troops and heavy weapons coming from Russia – a few years ago, when the Kremlin signed a bilateral military agreement with Banu for access to mineral resources.
Support could not come at a good time. The AFP reported that rebels had already taken over Bambari, the country’s fourth-largest city, this Friday. UN imposed on the capital. In addition to preventing the caravan from passing, they looted troops, barricades and houses.
After all, what is happening in the Central African Republic, a country rich in diamonds, gold and other natural resources, with a sparse population, appears to have failed to prevent seizures. The roots of the current conflict can be traced back to 2013, when a group of Muslim militants, Celica, overthrew then-President Franோois Bose, a Christian known for his dictatorial rule.
Amid the chaos of the civil war, so-called anti-Balaka Christian militants massacred Christian and Muslim people and mixed ethnic tensions. After a weak peace deal and the arrival of international troops, he was elected former Prime Minister in the days of Poseidon as President Fastin-Archange Tudora, but the country never came tight.
Today, the geometry of these powerful fighters seems even more complex. Bose, who has been banned from running for president because of allegations of torture and murder, has been accused by Central African authorities of joining an insurgent coalition in Bosembelli – including anti-Celica and Balaka groups.
We are afraid of elections. We need peace, we need security, ”Ismail, 20, who lives in Bangkok, told Reuters. In the anti-Balaka attack in 2017, his city was one of the worst genocides of the conflict, in which at least 140 civilians, mainly Muslims, were killed, while the blue helmet tried to regain the place.
It is our duty to go to the polls and it is our right. But the shock of the conflict is still there. Sometimes I have more dreams, ”Dauda, a mother who lives in Bangkok, explained to RFI. This did not help the election to bring the Balaka opposition back into their fold, this time for the presidential campaign of one of their leaders, Yvonne Nesselet – meanwhile, his candidacy was invalid. “Yeah, sometimes I saw them riding a motorcycle,” Daoda said. “It was scary.”