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UN peacekeepers killed in Central Africa

Three United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in attacks in the Central African Republic.

Three peacekeepers from Burundi were killed on Friday and two others wounded by armed attackers on the domestic security forces and the UN’s MINUSCA mission in Dekoa, Kemo prefecture, and Bakouma in Mbomou prefecture.

The attackers have not been identified, the UN said in a statement.

The Central African Republic is due to go the polls on Sunday for presidential and parliamentary elections.

The UN’s human rights office warned days ago that armed violence poses a serious threat to the security of civilians and their right to vote.

A new rebel alliance has recently clashed with security forces in different parts of the country, including near the capital Bangui, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Wednesday.

The oil-rich Central African Republic has been battered by conflict for years, with clashes between a predominantly Muslim rebel coalition and Christian militias after President Francois Bozize was toppled in 2013.

A French military intervention together with a UN peace mission temporarily stabilised the country with a peace accord signed in 2019, but there are recurring violent flare-ups.

The recent rise of violence has prompted Russia and Rwanda to deploy military consultants and troops in the country.

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