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UN peacekeeper killed in CAR clashes with rebels

The United Nations says one of its Cameroonian peacekeepers has been killed in the north of the Central African Republic in clashes with rebels.

UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on Tuesday that clashes took place between ex-Seleka rebels and the world body’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country at a checkpoint manned by the mission in the town of Batangafo.

“During the incident, one peacekeeper went missing and was subsequently found dead,” he added.

The official said the clashes had followed an outbreak of violence between ex-Seleka elements and Christian anti-balaka militiamen at a camp for the internally-displaced in the town.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing and called for swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

A coalition of Seleka rebels ousted the country’s former president, Francois Bozize, in 2013.

The CAR plunged into chaos and sectarian violence in March that year after the Seleka and anti-balaka groups turned their guns on each other to dominate the nation’s politics and vast mineral resources.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled the CAR over the past two years as the anti-balaka rebels keep committing widespread human rights abuses against them.

Christian anti-balaka militiamen gather near the town of Bambari in the south of the Central African Republic on May 15, 2015 during a military training session (AFP photo).

In an attempt to restore peace and stability to the former French colony, in August 2014, a transitional government headed by Catherine Samba Panza was formed that included members from different political parties and ethnic groups.

Presidential and parliamentary elections in the country had been scheduled for October, but were delayed until December after a surge in killings.

The UN peacekeeping mission is reportedly adding hundreds of troops and police to beef up security ahead of the vote.

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