Heavily armed assailants suspected to be fighters of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) Tuesday, March 23, attacked a humanitarian convoy of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in the district of Bakouma, situated 130 kilometres north of the town of Bangassou and 864 kilometres from Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
According to local sources, the convoy of nine vehicles on an evaluation mission left the town of Bangassou Tuesday, March 23, to Bakouma where thousands are living under deplorable conditions after the recent violence, before the second round of the legislative elections held on March 14, 2021.
Seven of the nine vehicles in the convoy were stolen by the assailants who were formally identified as rebels of the CPC, local sources said.
A local administrative official who refused to be identified for safety reasons, revealed that the rebels seized the seven UNOCHA vehicles before forcing the UN humanitarian workers into the other two vehicles and ordered them to return to Bangassou.
“The CPC rebels accompanied the UNOCHA personnel to the village of Lengo, 10 kilometres from Bakouma before leaving them to continue on their way,” he said.
To prevent the national army FACA from pursuing them, the CPC rebels were reported to have destroyed the bridge which links Lengo to the towns of Bakouma through Bangassou.
UNOCHA has not issued any official statement only declaring that the humanitarian team that was in Bakouma has returned to Bangassou.
Bakouma is one of the localities in the Central African Republic where the legislative elections held on March 14, did not take place.
This was due to the withdrawal of the Moroccan contingent from the MINUSCA forces in February.
The absence of security forces in Bakouma left it open for rebels to operate with impunity.