Central African Republic rebels release kidnapped soldiers


Nineteen soldiers abducted by rebels in the Central African Republic (CAR) by the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in February have been released.

This is according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

ICRC says out of the 20 soldiers seized in the raid in Vakaga region on February 14, the 19 were released and will arrive shortly in the town of Birao, “and will remain there until their return to Bangui can be organised,” says deputy mission chief Yves Van Loo, while referring to the CAR capital.

“The 20th soldier is receiving medical treatment for wounds and “will be picked up at a different location later,” he said.

In a statement, the CPC said it had taken a “voluntary and unilateral decision” to release the 20 following negotiations” with the ICRC and the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA).

The CPC is an alliance of militias created in 2020 in a bid to overthrow Bozize’s successor, Faustin Archange Touadera.

The landlocked CAR is one of the poorest and most troubled countries in the world, despite an abundance of mineral wealth.

It remains scarred by a 2013 civil war, unleashed by a coup against then president Francois Bozize, in which armed groups battled along sectarian lines.

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