Tension is high in Bossembele on the Bossangoa highway following violent clashes between forces of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the Central African soldiers on the one hand and combatants of a rebel movement loyal to former Central African Republic head of state Francois Bozize.
According to very reliable sources, soldiers of the Central African Armed forces popularly, known by the French acronym, FACA, supported by elements of the presidential guard, attacked rebel positions on the Bossangoa highway on Thursday morning.
The government forces were also supported by MINUSCA units using combat aircraft to furnish logistical information to the loyalist columns.
Relative peace is yet to return to the area situated three kilometres from Bossembele and although no positive identification has as yet been made of the rebel forces involved in the fighting, reliable sources say the combatants belong to the anti-Balaka Christian rebel movement most of whom support Bozize.
According to a senior officer of the Central African Army, the rebel combatants might have been angered by the arrest of a sub officer of the national army said to be an ardent supporter of the former president.
Officials of the presidential guard arrested the officer when he arrived at the national capital, Bangui, from Bossangoa on suspicion that he had come to foment trouble in favour of Bozize.
The arrested officer whose name has not been revealed is currently being held at the Roux military camp before being presented to the public prosecutor for trial.