BANGUI — The United Nations said Wednesday that UN peacekeepers have regained control of Bambari, a Central African Republic (CAR) city taken Tuesday by armed rebels.
The rebels were pushed back into the bush, and the residents of Bambari who had fled began to return, Abdoulaziz Fall, spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), told a press conference. On Tuesday, Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) rebels captured Bambari, one of the main cities of the CAR, and looted the police station and gendarmerie brigade there. The rebels also took over a military base located behind the city hall of Bambari, deserted by the CAR army. Reports said no loss of civilian life were recorded.
The attack came only days before the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for Sunday. Between 2013 and 2016, armed groups planned to make Bambari their regional capital, with a view to partitioning the CAR. In February 2017, the CAR government wanted to make Bambari a pilot city without armed groups, and the rebels left the city.