Over 60 people have been killed in sectarian clashes in Central African Republic between local militias and former rebels.
Witnesses and a local official said on Wednesday that Local self-defense militias, known as “anti-balaka” or anti-machetes, attacked a Seleka position in the mining village of Gaga, around 250 km (150 miles) northwest of Bangui, on Monday, killing four ex-rebels before attacking Muslim civilians.
The Seleka fighters retaliated against Christian civilians in the village, witnesses said. Seleka gunmen, many of them from neighboring Chad and Sudan, have repeatedly been accused of desecrating churches and terrorizing Christian communities.
Guy Simplice Kodegue, a presidential spokesman confirmed that 60 people had been killed in the latest fighting.
He said a column of army soldiers supported by Seleka fighters had been dispatched to the region from Bangui, the capital, to stop the assailants, whom he accused of abusing civilians in the town of Bossangoa near Bozize’s home village.
“The international community should keep a watchful eye on what is happening in this country, as we have just made a policy shift to pave the way for elections,” he said.