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27 Jan 2020 | 04:53 AM UTC

CAR: Clashes reported in Bria January 25-26

Clashes between armed groups reported in Bria (Haute-Kotto prefecture) January 25-26; similar incidents possible over the near term

security
CAF

Event

According to security sources, clashes erupted between armed groups in Bria (Haute-Kotto prefecture) between Saturday, January 26, and Sunday, January 27. Several people have reportedly been killed and several others injured in the incident, although exact numbers remain unclear as of Monday, January 27. At least 5000 people have fled the area following the fighting. As of Monday, some order has been restored; the UN and local armed forces are  patrolling the area. However, tension remains high.

A heightened security presence is to be anticipated in Bria over the near term; further clashes cannot be ruled out.

Context

The Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered recurrent bouts of civil conflict since December 2012, which has led to hundreds of deaths and almost 700,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and has pushed more than 500,000 people to seek refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Chad. Clashes between various armed groups continue to be reported, although a peace agreement between armed groups and the government was signed on February 6, 2019.

Advice

Individuals present in Bria are advised to monitor local developments, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and remain vigilant for potential militant activity.

In general, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to most of the east of the country for various security reasons, including the presence of armed groups.