French Troops and African Peacekeepers Calm Rebel Coalition

French Troops

French Troops and African peacekeepers have calmed the rebel coalition for now in a northern town called Sibut. Heavily armed rebels fled from Central African Republic to the town of Sibut and now have fled again north and east, after peacekeepers calmed the 200 or so fighters.

The very rebel coalition that put a president out of office last March, after he’d been in office for ten years, could be gathering to do the same. This is what was feared when rebels left the capital city of Bangui and headed north. There is a temporary transitional government in place (who replaced the rebel president recently forced to resign, after his bout since last March), which was appointed last month. A commander with the Seleka rebels vowed they would return after the French troops and African peacekeepers gained control peacefully in this northern city.

The Central African Republic has been a nightmare for its residents and approximately 1 million people, which is one-fifth the population. These people fled the Selekas since the rebels took over last March. The area is surrounded by rival militias with security at risk.

Peter Bouckaert, from Human Rights Watch, reported that peacekeepers could do nothing as corpses became mutilated in the capital of Bangui. This occurred at the airport on Wednesday. Large crowds had gathered and about twelve or so people from a militia were mutilating two bodies; they were Muslim men who had been killed by machetes. This violent act was witnessed by a crowd, including children. The scene was indescribable. Apparently and according to Peter Bouchaert, people were seen recording this on cell phones. Some were laughing.

French TroopsThere seems to be not a safe area in this chaos, which escalated in December. Muslims as well as Christians are being killed. Soldiers with arms do not seem to stop these horrific massacres taking place. These atrocities are taking place throughout the area, not only in the capital of Bangui. The Seleka are leaving and going into Chad, where troops are protecting them. People say they are escaping justice for these crimes. In the end this majority Christian population watches, as Muslims face a wrath from the rebel Selekas.

Reports have come out saying children have been slaughtered by machetes, with their Muslim parents having to watch. This bloodshed has been horribly visible from these acts of intensified revenge. The French and African peacekeepers are trying to calm these rebels in the region.

Thirty people have been killed over the last three days, say Red Cross officials, with approximately 2,000 since it began. The rebels, who are armed and dangerous, had issued their own return after they fled Bangui. What it comes down to for this complex situation in CAR is the attackers have pointed out civilians, who are Muslims, saying they supported rebels who overthrew the president last March. The Christian group rose up against the Muslim rebels, or Selekas and the rebel leader who became president after the first one was displaced. Now that he is gone rebels have left the capital.

Sixty-six hundred African peacekeepers and French troops work to protect and give order to the country, especially in the capital of Bangui. But rebels have fled and possibly are reorganizing in outer section of the country. The troops are awaiting orders on how to proceed.

The town of Sibut is 110 miles away and a rebel commander, General Mahanat Babr, says they wish to work for the transitional government.

The International Community of forces in the CAR have regained control over the town of Sibut, where Muslim rebels, the Selekas, had placed themselves to regroup. They peacefully talked with French troops in this town with approximately 24,000 people. This town of Sibut is now occupied by peacekeeping forces, not the rebels as of Sunday, February 2.

By Kim Troike

ABCnews

BBC

NYTimes

Reuters

 

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