Central African Forces and MINUSCA launch a disarmament and arrest operation against armed criminals in Bangui’s PK5 neighborhood
On Sunday 8 April at 2:00 a.m. the Central African Armed Defense Forces (FACA), Internal Security Forces (ISF), and MINUSCA launched a joint disarmament and arrest operation targeting the bases of criminal groups in the PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.
The residents of PK5 have repeatedly called on MINUSCA to intervene and put an end to the predatory activities of the neighborhood’s criminal gangs. These gangs are responsible for extensive abuses against the local population, including extorting merchants and attacking civilians, while blocking the return of state authorities.
Prior to the operation, these criminal groups were provided the opportunity to voluntary disarm, which would have enabled some of their members to benefit from socioeconomic programs along with the wider community. Unfortunately, the leaders of the groups refused this option, despite a mediation organized by community leaders.
Over the course of the operation, government forces and MINUSCA raided the bases of several criminal groups, resulting in arrests and the seizure of arms, ammunition, and drugs. The arrested individuals will be remanded to Central African judicial authorities.
This joint operation will continue until the criminal groups of PK5 are dismantled or otherwise disappear.
MINUSCA calls on the population not to resort to popular justice against members of these criminal groups, regardless of the gravity of the crimes they have committed. MINUSCA instead urges the population to inform MINUSCA representatives or government authorities about the location of such criminals to enable arrests and the appropriate judicial follow-up.
The protection of civilians in PK5 and return of state authority remain the primary priorities of MINUSCA.