Aid convoy beats blockade to reach Central African Republic’s capital

A convoy of humanitarian aid reached the capital of Central African Republic on Monday – the first since attacks by rebel groups blocked a major transport route from Cameroon in January, the U.N. peacekeeping mission said.

A surge in violence linked to a disputed December 27 election has forced more than 200,000 civilians to flee and brought other parts of the country to a standstill, stalling flows of food and driving up prices for basic goods in the capital Bangui.

With an aerial escort, 13 of 100 blocked aid trucks were able to transport food and medicine along the 583-kilometre road to Bangui from the Cameroonian border, the mission said on Twitter.

Last week the government extended a state of emergency for six months as its army, supported by foreign troops, seeks to quell rebels trying to overturn the election won by the President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

The country of nearly 5 million has failed to find stability since a 2013 rebellion ousted former president Francois Bozize.

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The latest crisis was sparked by a court decision to bar Bozize from the December election, prompting attempts by a coalition of rebel groups known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) to disrupt the vote.

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