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UN employee kidnapped in capital of Central African Republic

PACOME PABANDJI, AFP I Police and gendarmes assisted by UN troops (MINUSCA) carry out peacekeeping operations on October 2, 2014 in the capital Bangui.

Armed men in the capital of the Central African Republic kidnapped a female staff member with the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSCA on Tuesday, a spokesman for the mission said, the second abduction in the capital Bangui in as many days.

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A spokesperson for MINUSCA confirmed the kidnapping to FRANCE 24.

“One colleague was abducted on the road to the airport. The car was stopped by armed men who were riding motorbikes. Then they took control of the car. They took the colleague out of the car and put her in a taxi and disappeared. Earlier this morning, they tried to carjack another UN vehicle but that operation failed,” MINUSCA spokesman Hamadoun Touré told FRANCE 24.

A French charity worker and a churchman were abducted a day earlier on Monday in Bangui in an area controlled by anti-Balaka militia. The militia demanded the release of one of their leaders who has been arrested for crimes including murder.

CAR has been plagued by inter-religious violence ever since the Seleka, a predominantly Muslim rebel group from the country’s north, seized power in a March 2013 coup.

The Seleka officially disbanded after taking control but some former members launched a campaign of killing, raping and looting.

Anti-balaka militias were then formed to fight the former Seleka members, but began launching brutal reprisal attacks on the country’s minority Muslim population.

France launched an ongoing military intervention in its former colony in late 2013. A UN peacekeeping force was dispatched to CAR in September last year to help restore order.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
 

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