Throughout the nation, including the capital city of Bangui, fighting has broken out between the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and the Central Africa military (Forces armées centrafricaines; FACA). CPC forces attacked FACA positions primarily near Bossangoa in Ouham, but reports indicate fighting has spread throughout the country. This comes a few days after unknown forces attacked an airbase near Obo, killing one Moroccan-born UN peacekeeper.
The fighting apparently began around midnight local time with the capital quickly descending into chaos. There have been no confirmed casualty counts.
Russian based Wagner Security Group is also participating in the fighting, alongside their government allies. According to eyewitnesses, Wagner is said to be using helicopters and armoured vehicles against rebel forces. Before Wagner, the government was allied to, and utilizing, French soldiers. United Nations peacekeepers have also been instrumental in the conflict, taking many casualties but also providing much needed humanitarian care to locals.
Last year United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, stated “The Central African people have suffered so much and deserve our steadfast support and attention,” but also noted that the Central African Republic “is now the most dangerous place for humanitarian work.”
The country, which just reported a potential major escalation from a neighboring nation, is notoriously one of the most unstable in Africa, fraught with a deep history of inter-border conflict. The civil war which rages there has been ongoing since 2012 with a suspected 13,594 killed and millions displaced. The conflict is primarily political in origin but involves major religious tension interwoven between Catholic and Islamic militias. It briefly rose to mainstream attention with the widespread Kony2012 activism but has since gone relatively unreported in the West.