News / Africa

Doctors Group: 200 Wounded Since Friday in CAR

French soldiers run a check on a civilian along a street in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, Dec. 23, 2013.
French soldiers run a check on a civilian along a street in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, Dec. 23, 2013.
VOA News
A medical aid group says renewed violence in the Central African Republic has wounded nearly 200 people over the past five days.

Doctors Without Borders says increased violence in the capital, Bangui, began on December 20, when the group treated 49 people for gunshot wounds.

Much of the fighting in the CAR is between mostly Muslim former rebels, known as ex-Seleka, and mostly Christian militias, known as anti-balaka.

VOA correspondent Idriss Fall, who has spent several days in Bangui, reports the increased number of gunshot victims could indicate a change in tactics for the anti-balaka fighters, who previously carried out most of their attacks with machetes.

"It means that the anti-balaka people are having guns right now. Where do they come from? We don't know," said Fall.

Fall reported the capital was mostly calm Tuesday but tensions remained high because of the presence of armed groups.

"The mob is still here. Even when you cross in the market places where, you know, you have a lot of people, you don't ever, ever know what could happen. They could take you for a French guy or they could take you for a Muslim. So, it is still very, very tense and very, very dangerous," he said.

At a Tuesday news conference, CAR interim president Michel Djotodia appealed for calm.

Fall reported he also addressed an incident this week in which three presidential guard soldiers were killed by French troops.

The president described the shooting as an accident. He said, at the time, the soldiers were not in uniform and did not have their papers, authorizing them to carry weapons.

Last Thursday, Amnesty International said more than 1,000 people had been killed in Bangui since violence flared earlier this month.

French and African soldiers have been deployed in CAR to disarm fighters and curb the unrest.

The country has endured months of instability since the Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize in March.

  • French soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • A French solider with his machine gun at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers stand ready at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers atop a tank at a checkpoint, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers checking passenger cars at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA
  • French soldiers at a checkpoint in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 22, 2013. Idriss Fall/VOA

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