Bambari: The clamp tightens around General Balla Kéïta and UN forces … ..

« For us, they are only strangers. They do not know the country like us. We will not allow ourselves, as Central Africans. We will take the ramps and trails to arrive in Bambari and finish with the Nigerien mercenary, Ali Darass, who is protected by the Minusca. Either they protect everyone or they disarm by force everybody, « hammered an officer of the FPRC and MPC, joined from Mbroutchou village, 25 km from the town of Ippy. This is an information which must whistle very loudly in the ears of Mr. Onanga and General Bala Keita, on the one hand, and those of President Touadera on the other.
 Indeed, since the air and ground operations of the UN forces having caused the death of General Zoundecko and the destruction of several vehicles, it is now clearly established that the Minusca chose to choose its camp; The one to ensure the protection of the mercenary Pehl of Nigerian origin, a certain Ali Darass. Another slaughterer of the selka who has erected his headquarters in Bambari and who has been ruling there for several years, in full view of the UN forces. A bias that is not to the taste of the elements of the FPRC and the MPC, most of whom are Central Africans.

As a result, they are determined to walk back to the city of Bambari. Thus, at the time of the publication of this article, not only did the population of Birao and Bria massively go down to the street to denounce this hypocrisy and this manifest violation of the principle of impartiality which they never cease But above all, hundreds of elements of the RPF and the MPC would be moving towards the town of Bambari. So how long will Mr. Onanga, General Bala Keita and the UN forces still hold?
The answer to this question is in the comment relayed on the antennas of RFI, in these terms:

« Despite the operation of Minusca, the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) is slowly progressing towards Bambari. The FPRC and the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) have promised to take Bambari to dislodge Ali Darass, the head of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), who established his headquarters there a few years ago. The war between the coalition and the UPC has been raging for several months in this province of Ouaka. The operation of the Minusca on Saturday 11 February does not seem to have completely stopped the advance of the troops of the FPRC-MPC coalition towards the south, towards Bambari.

If several pickups were destroyed in Ngawa 1 by the United Nations helicopter, the elements of the coalition apparently continued on foot, taking the paths to discreetly enter Ippy, a dozen kilometers further south. So, without a fight, the FPRC men crossed the famous red line set by the UN. In Ippy there is a temporary base of the Minusca and the Mauritanian and Bangladeshi peacekeepers. Many of the displaced had sought refuge there, but some returned. Several hundred families have arrived in Bambari, according to a humanitarian source who explains that their count is still in progress.
In addition, the FPRC would be strengthening its positions at the other end of the front line. « [Sunday] we saw about thirty motorcycles on which there were armed fighters coming from the North, » says a source to Kaga Bandoro.
Fighters joined by others in the night and who would all have left early in the morning towards Mbrès bypassing the Minusca checkpoint, which was supposed to prevent the crossing of Kaga Bandoro. Once in Mbrès, the fighters are barely a day from Bakala where the front line begins.
Strategic City
For an armed group, Bambari is a strategic crossroads in several respects. The strongman of the city, Ali Darass, set up a system of levying taxes on the traders who live there or who pass there. The UPC gives protection to the transhumants who covet the cattle herds. Moreover, in 2015, a report by the NGO Global Witness showed that international companies that harvest timber in the region paid a fee to armed groups, including the UPC.
But above all, Ali Darass derives significant profits from the coffee trade in the Ouaka, and from the gold mines of Ndassima about sixty kilometers north of Bambari. Finally, the city has a major operational interest. The FPRC, which with its ally MPC, promised to take the city, regularly recalls its attempts to partition east of the Central African Republic. Partition to which Ali Darass has always opposed.

By taking Bambari, the coalition would earn substantial revenues, rid itself of a cumbersome enemy, and ensure freedom of movement for its troops in the eastern half of the country. But Bambari is cut in half. The western part of the city is controlled by the anti-balaka of Gaëtan Boade who would see with a good eye that Ali Darass is pushed out but who fear this partition. Anti-balaka which for the moment remain the weapon at the foot « .

Kassa mo Ngonda


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