Clash with rebels in northern CAR kills at least 20


Security forces in the remote north of Central African Republic clashed with rebels late last week, killing at least 20 people in a resurgence of fighting which has forced tens of thousands from their homes.

Central African Republic soldiers clashed with members of the rebel National Convention for Justice (CNJ) around the village of Akoursoulbak in the Ndele region more than 600 km (370 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, Reuters reports.

“We lost three of our men and recorded six wounded. I can’t say exactly how many rebels were killed because they carried their seriously injured away, but 17 bodies were abandoned on the ground,” said an army lieutenant who asked not to be named.

Khalil Djorkoy, a rebel fighter with the CNJ, told Reuters by telephone from Ndele that 24 soldiers and seven rebels were killed in the fighting, which began on Friday morning.

It was not possible to get independent confirmation of either version of events.

Rich in gold, diamonds and uranium, Central African Republic is one of Africa‘s most isolated states. A weak government is struggling to end several internal rebellions and battle the spill-over of instability from neighbouring Sudan and Chad.

Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced by the conflict in the former French colony but aid workers complain the country is overlooked due to larger crises in the rest of the region, which also includes the two Congos.