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Central African Republic: Rebels Capture Nanga Boguila Town From Government Control

Hundreds of rebels drawn from within the ranks of the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) and the Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R) rebel movements have invaded the town of Nanga Boguila, situated midway between the towns of Bossangoa and Paoua.

“In the beginning, that was on September 27, 2020, ten rebel combatants arrived in the town. However, within the last forty-eight hours, the number has risen to hundreds. 

On Thursday, October 22, 2020 alone, more than one hundred heavily armed rebel fighters arrived the town creating panic in the populations. Several people have been abandoning the town since the arrival of the rebel fighters. 

Against all expectations, the local authorities seem to be comfortable with the presence of the rebels. Why”, revealed a civil society activist in the town who elected for anonymity for his personal security.

It should be recalled here that when the rebel combatants first arrived the town of Nanga Bonguila on September 27, 2020, they declared that they had not come to fight but to ensure peace, social cohesion and living together.

However, since Monday last week, the rebel combatants have changed their strategy and language. They now say they are in the town to ensure the security of the electoral process currently going on in the country.

“Today, many people within the local population are beginning to ask what the real motivations behind the presence of the combatants in their town are”, declared the civil society activist quoted above.

Meanwhile, since arriving in the sub prefecture of Nanga Boguila, the rebel fighters have not been harassing the local populations nor have they set up roadblocks in the town nor along the main highways to extract money from the people as they usually did in the past.

“They have been depending on their own money instead of extorting money from the local population. Besides, the local authorities do not seem to be disturbed by their presence. 

“On the contrary, the local authorities are in permanent contact with the rebels. There is no soldier of the Central African armed forces in the town, nor are there any police people. 

“There are only two gendarmes in the town right now who have been threatening to leave for Paoua or Bossangoa”, a local politician told HumAngle on Sunday.

In a related development, though the rebel combatants have not been harassing the local populations as they usually did in the past, very few people have been frequenting the catholic church which is close to the rebel base since the fighters arrived in the town.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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