Ugandan army says killed 11 Seleka fighters in CAR

Uganda said its forces in Central African Republic (CAR) had clashed for the first time with fighters from Seleka and would pursue them as part of a campaign against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Ugandan army says killed 11 Seleka fighters in CAR

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ugandan troops deployed in the Central African Republic (CAR) have killed 11 Seleka fighters.

"We killed 11 rebels, including a colonel who was commanding the group," Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) spokesman Says Lt Col Paddy Ankunda told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday morning.

"We also are now in possession of their guns and a satellite phone," he said.

"They attacked our squad in Zako on Sunday and they injured our soldier who has since died," Ankunda said.

Ugandan troops are part of a 5,000-strong African Union regional force hunting down rebels from Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) taking advantage of the lawlessness in CAR.

The troops are reportedly supported by 100 members of the U.S. Special Forces.

The LRA rebels are scattered across a thick mass of forests in CAR and some neighboring countries.

"We know we do not have a UN mandate to deal with them (Seleka)," Ankunda admitted.

"But the Seleka rebels have been forcing civilians to give medicine and food to the LRA and whenever some LRA rebels want to defect, they tell them to go back to the bush," he said.

The Ugandan army spokesman insisted that the Christian LRA and the Seleka, a coalition of mainly Muslim militants, "are in bed together."

"We wanted to teach them a lesson and show them we are different," Ankunda told AA. "They should not attack us [because] if they do, they will be dealt with precisely."

Ankunda's accusations could not be independently verified.

CAR descended into anarchy last year when Seleka rebels ousted then president Francois Bozize, a Christian who had come to power in a 2003 coup. The rebels later installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, as an interim president.

The country was plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militias and the seleka fighters.

Anti-Muslim violence escalated after Djotodia stepped down in January and was replaced by Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian who formerly served as mayor of the capital, Bangui.

Christians, who account for the majority of the country's population, accuse Muslims of supporting the former Seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2014, 15:02