On the 10th of January, Portugal’s Armed Forces General Staff released a video of a five-hour-long battle between Portuguese paratroopers and the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia. The battle was instigated when Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC) rebels killed two police officers and wounded another in Bambari, some 400 kilometers from the capital Bangui. The attack was instigated a day after President Faustin-Archange Touadera stated the government and rebels would come together in Khartoum to initiate an African Union (AU)-brokered peace deal.
The UPC, which is a splinter group with members from Séléka (an alliance of rebel militia groups) and various other armed groups, carried out attacks in several locations in Bambari a day before the president was scheduled to visit. Medecins Sans Frontiers stated that it treated 30 people for gunshot wounds and that, sadly, one person died in the hospital.
Since, 2017 Portugal has contributed to the international peacekeeping effort in the Central African Republic (CAR) with a special company from the Portuguese Army operating from the capital Bangui as a quick reaction force.