14 killed, several wounded in latest raid on CAR villages: UN

United Nations, Apr 18 (UNI) UN humanitarians said on Wednesday armed rebels raided a Central Africa Republic (CAR) village in southern Mbomou prefecture, killing 14 civilians, wounding several others, and setting homes on fire.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing local authorities, said that members of the UPC rebel group on Sunday attacked the village of Kologbota about 30 km from Bakouma city.

“Several persons were wounded, and many houses were burnt out. This massacre was reportedly committed because the armed group suspected the villagers of collaboration with Central African armed forces,” OCHA said.

The office said violent attacks of armed groups are on the rise, with several killings of civilians reported. Members of the 3R armed group killed at least 20 civilians on April 2 near Bohong in northwest Ouham-Pende prefecture. Like Sunday’s raid, several persons also were wounded, and many houses burned.

Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said on Wednesday the UN peacekeeping mission in CAR, known as MINUSCA, deployed patrols in regions hit with the attacks. MINUSCA strongly condemned attacks against civilians by armed groups.

Dujarric said the attacks, since the beginning of the month, have claimed many lives, including women and children.

“In Zemio, in Haut-Mbomou prefecture, peacekeepers are continuing to conduct daily patrols to restore calm and secure the area, which is a priority for them,” said the spokesman. “The mission has also established a temporary operating base in the Ouham-Pende prefecture, also to protect civilians.”

He said the UN mission urged armed groups and self-defense groups active in the country to end the violence immediately and highlighted the urgent need for accountability.

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