CAR: Rwandan peacekeepers foil prison break attempt
Rwandan peacekeepers serving in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital, Bangui managed to stop an attempt by leaders of the CAR’s militias to break out of Ngaragba prison.
Ngaragba prison, located in the 7th arrondissement in Bangui, accommodates leaders of the Anti-balaka and Ex-Séléka militia groups.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Defence said that Rwanda Mechanized Infantry Battalion (RwaMechBatt1) forces serving in the African-led International Support Mission in CAR managed to fire warning bullets eventually stopping a riot in which prisoners tried to open metal doors in vain.
The African Union peacekeeping forces hailed the Rwandan forces for vigilance and timely response to the attempted prison break which was planned by one of the groups that have previously been involved in staging violent attacks on civilians.
Apparently an investigation has reportedly been lounged to trace the perpetrators of the jailbreak attempt, according to the director of the prison, Commandant Ibrahim Yabanga.
Since their deployment in CAR, with the support of US forces, Rwandan peacekeepers have played a significant role in stopping similar attempts by such groups to attack and kill innocent civilians especially in the Bangui area-which is severely undergoing religious based violence.
This has been accompanied by efforts to bring together and reconcile both Christian and Muslim communities, using their Rwandan experience of unity and reconciliation.
Rwandan forces have been conducting humanitarian convoy escort, making a 700 km long journey from Bangui to CAR-Cameroon border after Bangui and CAR had been cut off from supplies by armed groups controlling the Bangui-Cameroon main supply road that connects it to the sea port of Douala in Cameroon.
The forces have also intervened and stopped mob killings in which one of the attackers died as the peacekeeper pursed the civilian suspects. This has also been accompanied by creating an arena for dialogue and reconciliation between the Christians and Muslim community as a way of curbing the increasing violence in CAR.
International organizations and human rights organs have decried the increasing violence in CAR, with a call for more peacekeeping troops and finding lasting solutions for the crisis in CAR- which has deteriorated even when the election of Catherine Samba-Panza as the country’s new president.