“Our colleagues at the peacekeeping mission there said they have noted a significant increase in the number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), especially in the northwest of the country,” Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying.
Among the IEDs found since the beginning of the year, “three out of five devices exploded on vehicles belonging to our peacekeepers or to the country’s army”, Dujarric added.
He said the mission, known as MINUSCA, believes the armed Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation group active in the area is deliberately targeting UN peacekeepers and CAR armed forces with the devices.
On the humanitarian side, the UN deputy special representative and humanitarian coordinator for the CAR, Denise Brown, visited Ouaka prefecture in the country’s midsection a few days ago and expressed her concerns about the situation, notably in the town of Boyo, the spokesman said.
“She said that following the arrival of armed combatants in the town, there are allegations of killings, houses burned down and agricultural supplies stolen,” Dujarric said, adding that MINUSCA deployed peacekeepers there to protect the population.
There were no reports of casualties.