Potential Hot Spots: June 2, 2001
On June 1 heavy fighting (including automatic weapons and mortars) broke out once again in Bangui. Fighting was reported at the Camp Kassai barracks and in the citys eastern outlying areas. One report said General Andre Kolingba was seen near the Kassai barracks. Another report said he had left the city. Yet another report said that new fighting had occurred in the Ouangou district on the north shore of Ubangui River(at the DRC-CAR border). Western news sources quoted several religious groups and witnesses who said that they saw members of the Ugandan-backed Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) deploy along the south shore of the Bangui River. (This may be in addition to the MLC troops which on May 31 took up positions on the north side of the river to keep CAR mutineers from entering the DRC.) On June 2 heavy mortar fire was reported near the French ambassadors residence in Bangui, indicating fighting continued around the capital. A CAR military source was quoted as saying the mortar fire was part of a loyalist mopping up operation. A CAR government spokesman (loyal to President Patasse) said that there were still pockets of resistance in Bangui but CAR loyalists controlled every strategic point" in the area.