Africa

Rebels Kill 2 Peacekeepers in Central African Republic

The peacekeepers, a Gabonese and a Moroccan, died during an ambush on their convoy.

Rebels killed two peacekeepers in the Central African Republic on Monday, the UN mission MINUSCA said, hours after the country’s top court confirmed that President Faustin Archange Touadera had won re-election.

The deaths brought to seven the number of MINUSCA troops killed since the start of a rebel offensive against Touadera on December 19.

MINUSCA said in a statement that the peacekeepers slain Monday were a Gabonese and a Moroccan who died during an ambush on their convoy.

It blamed the attack on “elements of the coalition of armed groups,” referring to a newly formed rebel alliance that mounted an attempted coup ahead of the December 27 election in the violence-wracked country.

Touadera has alleged that his predecessor, Francois Bozize, fomented the offensive.

Also Monday, the Constitutional Court confirmed Touadera’s victory in the December election but said turnout, which was suppressed by armed groups, was little more than a third, with many voters prevented from casting their ballots.

Two-thirds of the former French colony is in the hands of armed groups, and Touadera relies on security and military support from MINUSCA as well as Russia and Rwanda.

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