MINUSCA warns FPRC coalition about intimidation of IDPs in Ippy

Three members of the coalition led by the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC), whose offensive towards Bambari (center of Central African Republic) was stopped by the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on Sunday, are currently on Mission premises. Central African judicial authorities, with the support of MINUSCA, will proceed to question them about their presence in the vicinity of the city.

The three men - Idriss Ahmed El Bashar, Yaya Idriss and Line Angou Aneser – as well as a group of approximately 40 elements of the coalition heavily armed with AK47 and RPGs, breached the red line set up by MINUSCA as they approached Bambari. MINUSCA’s air operation on Sunday resulted in seven wounded and one dead in the ranks of the coalition. MINUSCA once again denounces the attack by the coalition a few days ago which seriously injured Mission peacekeepers. The Mission points out that such acts of aggression could constitute a war crime that could be prosecuted by national and international courts.

MINUSCA calls once again for an immediate cessation of hostilities. The Mission reiterates its determination to use all means conferred on it by the Security Council to prevent a battle in Bambari, which would generate isastrous consequences for civilian populations. MINUSCA’s action aims to help national authorities to reduce the presence and threat of armed groups, in accordance with the Security Council resolution. The Mission welcomes the departure from Bambari of the UPC leader and two anti-balaka heads, and stresses that nothing can justify a continuation of hostilities in the city.

MINUSCA also denounces the FPRC coalition’s current pressure on internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ippy (East of Bambari), by preventing these civilians from leaving the town. The Mission calls on the coalition leaders to immediately stop these prohibitions and to comply with national and international law on the free movement of persons, specifying that they will be held accountable for any violation