Rwanda peacekeeper halt civilian killing
Rwandan forces during an intervention operation in CAR
Rwanda peacekeepers were on February 9 engaged in a cross fire shooting intended to rescue more residents from being lynched after the Muslim civilians were attacked by Christian mobs organized under “anti-balaka” armed group.
The exchange took place in the Miskine neighborhood, 5 Arrondissement of north Bangui and at least two Muslims were reportedly killed during the religious based clashes.
RDF army spokesman, Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita said that the Christian mob was in the process of killing other Muslims when the Rwandan peacekeepers intervened, though one among the mob was unfortunately shot dead in the process.
“Our troops responded by firing warning shots and we were able to protect the rest of the Muslim community in the area.”
He said that the operation however managed to contain the looting, torching and actions of the mob.
In the meantime, more action has continued with protection patrols providing equal protection of all civilians of Central Africa including escorting of humanitarian aid and commercial goods from Cameroun-CAR border.
Rwanda Mechanised Infantry battalion (RwaMechBatt1) Forces serving in the Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) have a mandate to protect civilians, restore security and public order.
The African-led International Support Mission troops also are involved in stabilizing the country and restore state authority; support reform and restructuring of the defence and security; and create conducive conditions to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the population in need.
Rwandan forces have been very active in attaining these goals since their deployment in January, 2014.
The forces treated injured people and provided dental care to local community, as part of their continued efforts to restore stability and conduct protection operations of civilians in Bangui, which is facing high levels of violence.
On January 22, 2014 the Rwandan forces conducted search and rescue operation at Begwa, 13 kilometers (PK13) from the Capital Bangui, managing to rescued the civilians from being killed during violent attack by Anti-balaka (pro-Christians) armed group
Several fire arms and ammunitions including five (5) Sub-Machine Guns, one Rocket Launcher 7 with two bombs, radio communication, military uniforms and equipment were also removed from the armed group in the area during the operation
Sectarian clashes have been reported around Bangui, the Capital of CAR of which the Rwanda forces and other African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic have responded to the violence where houses were burnt and goods looted before the Peacekeepers reached the scene site (Begwa).
As part of the intervention process Rwandan forces also held separate meetings with Muslims and Catholics at Marché Abetayi, 15 kilometers from Bangui with intentions to building confidence and trust between MISCA Forces and local Community.