AFRICANGLOBE – Three ex-rebels shot dead by French troops in the capital of the Central African Republic on Sunday were members of the presidential guard and were “killed in cold blood”, the CAR presidency said. “They were killed in cold blood by members of Sangaris,”presidential spokesman Guy Simplice Kodegue said yesterday, referring to the French force sent this month to disarm ex-rebels sowing chaos in the country.
They are “members of the presidential guard,” he told reporters. President Michel Djotodia, who became the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian nation after a March coup, was formerly leader of the Seleka rebel coalition. He has officially disbanded Seleka, but some members went rogue, leading to months of killing, raping and pillaging — and prompting Christians to form vigilante groups in response.
The French army said its troops opened fire in Bangui on Sunday against “a group of half-a-dozen people suspected of being ex-Seleka” and who “were preparing to use their weapons”.
But the presidential spokesman said the shooting was unprovoked.
“This was not a disarmament operation and no shots were fired, contrary to what was reported in certain French media,” Kodegue added.
He said the ex-rebels were driving in a vehicle when they were stopped and executed.