The forces of the Central African rebel movement Retour, Reclamation et Rehabilitation (3R) – Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation – on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, launched a violent attack on the training base of the unites mixtes de securite (USMS) – mixed special security unit – in Wantiguira, which is about eight kilometres from the town of Bouar on the Boaro highway.
The attack follows the disarming of gendarmes in Nana-Mambere and occupation of several localities in the northwest of the Central African Republic by forces of rebel leader Abass Sidiki.
“The attack was very violent. The assailants used heavy weapons to attack and destroy the USMS base,” a witness told journalists on Tuesday morning.
According to an officer of the Central African armed forces popularly known by the French acronym, FACA, the objective of the rebels was to capture arms and military material stocked in the training centre.
“They succeeded in doing just that as several arms and military gear were carted away by the assailants who came in large numbers,” the FACA officer revealed.
Residents of Wantiguira who spoke to the media said the assailants had arrived in the area on Monday, June 8, and hid in qq bushes around the training base.
The officers of the mixed special security unit were even informed of the presence of the rebels around the training facility by a 60-year-old man in the area but the special forces neglected this vital information until the attack took place.
As at Tuesday morning, the effects of the attack were still being assessed but hospital sources revealed that 10 special unit soldiers were being treated in hospital.
By 5.30 a.m. on Tuesday, FACA soldiers as well as soldiers of the United Nations Mission in Central Africa (MINUSCA) had arrived in the locality.
In a related development, 3R rebels the same day, June 9, attacked MINUSCA soldiers in Pougole, wounding two of the soldiers and disarming four others.
The attack seemed to have been timed to take place simultaneously with that on Wantiguira, according to the spokesperson for the United Nations mission during a press conference on Wednesday.
The spokesperson revealed that signatories to the Accord Politique pour la Paix et la Reconciliation (APPR-RCA) – Political Accord for Peace and Reconciliation – were concerting in view of the current double violation of the accord by the 3R forces.