The Coordinator of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), who doubles as the Chief of Staff of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), self-proclaimed General Ali Darrassa, is reported to be on death throes.
According to information from some of his close collaborators, Darrassa who left the town of Ippy about a fortnight ago on his way to Bria, could not arrive at his destination.
CPC military sources in Bangui on Wednesday evening told HumAngle that the UPC coordinator was earlier in the day spotted in Yalinga in the Upper Kotto. He is said to be seriously sick and lodged with his traditional healer.
CPC spokesperson Abakar Sabome is reported to have confirmed Darrassa’s condition in a telephone call from Bria on Wednesday.
“His situation is rather frightening. Though his close aides say he is just having a medical rest, he seems to be very very sick. He may actually be seeing his last days on earth,” a source close to him disclosed.
Darrassa was last seen leaving Ippy in a convoy of six vehicles with over 50 heavily armed combatants.
He was said to be heading towards Bria but failed to reach his destination. Sources at the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) said that he was in the periphery of Bria.
“There is no doubt that Ali Darrassa wants to eventually cross into Sudan and take refuge there following the stalling of the CPC operation to capture Bangui, the capital. Most of his UPC fighters whom he took along to the CPC coalition seem to have abandoned the fight and fled out of the country,” a MINUSCA source said.
The MINUSCA official who opted for anonymity said he would have to personally see Darrassa on his sick bed before believing he was near death.
“One cannot dismiss the possibility that he just wants to disappear from the war front on the pretext of being ill only to eventually slip into Sudan or the Democratic Republic of Congo as some of his UPC/CPC fighters have done,” the MINUSCA source added.
“He surely intends to go to Sudan and meet his former boss, Nourredine Adam of the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC), who is taking refuge there,” another source said.