Ex-Seleka rebels shoot judge dead in CAR

Former Seleka rebels of the Central African Republic have shot dead a judge, sparking clashes in the country.
Ex-Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic
Ex-Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic

“Two people were killed and others suffered gunshot wounds on Sunday as residents protested the assassination of magistrate Modeste Martineau Bria and his aide-de-camp” in the capital Bangui on Saturday, AFP quoted a police source as saying on condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day, a para-military police official said Bria and his aid were “cold-bloodedly” killed by the ex-rebels, who “sped up to them on a motorbike and opened fire,” in the center of the capital.

It was not immediately possible to determine the motive for the killing.

Following Bria’s death, protesters “put up barricades and burned tires to show their anger,” said the police source.

The former Selekas fired shots to break the protest, the source added.

On September 13, CAR President Michel Djotodia dissolved the Seleka rebel coalition, which had brought him to power. Some of the rebels later joined the country’s regular army while some defied.

The Seleka rebels, who launched an offensive against the CAR government in December 2012 and finally ousted then President Francois Bozizé in March, have been accused of killing, looting, and raping across the country.

A recent UN report blamed the Seleka fighters for much of the chaos in the country, saying, “uncontrolled Seleka elements and unidentified armed groups” in the country committed “arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks.”

In July, the International Federation for Human Rights said at least 400 murders by Seleka-affiliated groups had been documented since March.

There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamond, in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.

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