Fighting in CAR is characterised by overlapping tensions between ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers.? Alliances shift as armed groups attempt to gain or consolidate control over territories and resources. ? In Mbomou, Basse-Kotto and Haut-Mbomou prefectures, underlying ethnic tensions sometimes drive violence.?Since the beginning of 2018, high levels of violence have been recorded in Haute and Basse-Kotto, Mbomou, Ouham, and Ouham-Pende, and Ouaka prefectures, as well as in Bangui.? Conflict in these prefectures is characterised by fighting among different armed groups, including self-defence militias, targeted attacks against MINUSCA forces and civilians, and ethnic violence.? Armed groups control more than 70% of the country.?
LRA attacks and abductions are frequent in Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou, as the group is present in areas bordering DRC. Since 2017, attacks and abductions by the LRA were also reported in Haute-Kotto and DRC.?
Conflict in Bangui between March and June 2018 resulted in at least 70 deaths and 360 injuries and the displacement of at least 10,000 people from the 3rd district, where the Muslim PK5 neighbourhood is located, to neighbouring and safer districts? On 4 June, local news sources reported that following a warrant of arrest for Nimery Matar, head of the 'Force' self-defense group in PK5 neighbourhood, he ordered his armed group and any other armed person in PK5 to disarm. It is unclear if this will have any effect on the humanitarian and political situation in Bangui.?
On 20 June, clashes between the ex-Seleka factions FPRC and MPC were registered in Ndele town, resulting in 28 deaths and five people severely injured.? According to local news sources, the FPRC controls the town. Agricultural and trade activities, as well as school final exams, were suspended as a result of the clashes.?
On 23 August, a MINUSCA peacekeeper was killed during an ambush led by an anti-Balaka militia in Pavika village, near Alindao.? On 18 July, self-defence groups from Bangassou (Mbomou prefecture) led by Matar attacked UPC posistions in Pombolo. The clashes between the UPC and the self-defence armed groups resulted in 17 deaths and several injuries on both sides.?
The security situation in Bria and surrounding villages remains unstable due to the presence of armed groups that regularly target both the local population and IDPs living in the PK3 camp.? Anti-Balaka, the FPRC, the UPC, and self-defence militias are based in Bria and battle fighters and/or civilians belonging to "opposing" religious or ethnic groups, such as Fulani, Arabs, and Muslims. However, a number of anti-Balaka (composed primarily of Christians) in the area are allied with ex-Seleka factions such as the FPRC, who are mostly Muslim.? From 23-25 August, clashes between armed groups led to the displacement of hundreds of people in the eastern area of Bria town. At least eight people died and 11 were injured during the fighting.? Armed groups are also active in PK3 IDP camp, and their presence sometimes leads to protection incidents. For instance, on 6 September, the FPRC kidnapped and killed nine IDPs from PK3 camp. The attacks led hundreds of IDPs to protest in front the MINUSCA headquarters. ? Clashes between rival armed groups are also recurrent in the surroundings of Bria. On 21-22 June, clashes between two armed groups, allegedly belonging to anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka factions, took place 5km from Bria town. Two people were injured. ?
On 1 July, clashes between armed groups in Gbambia village led to the displacement of 1,994 people to Amada-Gaza town and into the bush. Access to assist the IDPs in the area is very limited due to insecurity.? At the end of June, following the attack by armed men to the village of Bomboko (at 47km from Amada-Gaza town) some 1,600 people fled in the border area between CAR and Cameroon. As the humanitarian access is very limited due to the presence of armed groups, humanitarian organisation are unable to identify the needs of the displaced population in the area.? On 3 June, a MINUSCA Blue Helmet from Tanzania was killed by armed men in Dilapoko village, 85km from Berberati.?
On 27 July a MINUSCA logistics convoy was attacked by an armed group 10km from the town of Gambo. Two Egyptian peacekeepers died in the attack. Attacks against MINUSCA peacekeepers are very common in south-eastern CAR.?
After a relative lull, a resurgence of violent attacks and clashes between armed groups occurred in the Mbrès area in late June, resulting in several civilian deaths, more than 2,000 houses burned, and some 7,000 people fleeing into the bush. ? On 18 August, three peacekeepers from MINUSCA were injured during a clash with anti-Balaka fighters in Mbrès.?
A resurgence in clashes between armed groups and criminal activities has been registered in the Grimari-Kouango area in Ouaka prefecture since end of June. The insecurity has caused an unknown number of people to flee. Criminal activities and fighting have hampered humanitarian access, as well as freedom of movement of people and goods. CAR local news sources reported that the UPC of Ali Darassa is present in the area and is allegedly behind the looting, extortion, attacks, and kidnapping taking place in Kouango-Grimari area since June. ?
On 25 June, an armed attack in two villages 70km from Kabo town led to the displacement of some 323 people towards Kabo. Other people fled into the bush. Needs for IDPs have not yet been identified as humanitarian access in the area is very limited due to insecurity, poor road conditions, and a lack of bridges.?
Ex-Seleka have reportedly controlled the town of Batangafo since 30 October 2017.?
Since mid-July, the presence of 3R fighters has been reported in the areas surrouding the towns of Bocaranga and Bozoum.? From 5-8 June, unidentified armed men carried out attacks in Ndim village, leading to the displacement of some 8,000 people towards Bocaranga.?
Since the beginning of 2018, several clashes between the UPC, anti-Balaka, and the gendarmerie or MINUSCA forces were registered in Ouaka, especially in and around Bambari and Ippy. On 2 June, MINUSCA forces launched airstrikes against the UPC in Ouaka.? Nevertheless, the UPC presence continues in Ouaka, especially in Bambari and Bangassou. On 6 June, clashes between two armed groups were registered in the centre of Bambari.? On 10 June, the UPC attacked a FACA convoy in Bambari. Three FACA soldiers and one Russian soldier died in the clashes.?On the same day, the UPC attacked the MINUSCA patrol accompanying the FACA in Bambari, killing one Burundian peacekeeper.? Following 10 June clashes, a number of UPC fighters started to leave Bambari for Kaga-Bandoro, in Nana-Grebizi prefecture.? The latest clashes in Bambari further limited humanitarian access, preventing some organisations from carrying out a multisectoral assessment in Bambari area, and led to new displacements within Bambari town (no IDP figure available).?
On 13-14 June, armed men attacked the IDP site of the Catholic Church of Ippy. An unknown number of IDPs has been further displaced. As Ippy is under the control of an armed group, humanitarian organisations operating there are based in Bambari. Yet, as the security situation in Bambari is also deteriorating, it is difficult to assess the needs and humanitarian situation of civilians in Ippy town.?