YAOUNDE, Cameroon

At least 117 Central African Republic’s (CAR) soldiers have found refuge in neighboring Cameroon following repeated rebel attacks in their country, Cameroonian authorities told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

Gregoire Mvongo, governor of Cameroon’s Eastern Region, said the soldiers arrived last week in Garoua-Boulai, a border town, after rebel attacks in the northwest of the CAR.

“They arrived with their war equipment and were disarmed before being greeted by the sub-prefect of Garoua-Boulai and the local military authorities,” Mvongo added.

He said the soldiers are housed in a military camp awaiting their return to the CAR once the security situation improves.

Since the deterioration of the security situation in the CAR, the Cameroonian authorities have been on constant alert.

Last week, the governor of the eastern region presided over a security meeting in Garoua-Boulai regarding the security and political crisis in neighboring CAR.

“The number of refugees is increasing significantly day by day … High-ranking Central African personalities have come to settle for security reasons, ” the governor told reporters at the end of this meeting.

The situation in the war-torn country is extremely tense since the candidacy of the former President Francois Bozize for the Dec. 27 elections was rejected by the Constitutional Council.

Several militia groups, some close to Bozize, have recently attacked civilians, the armed forces and UN peacekeeping forces.

More than 55,000 people have fled violence, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Recent rebel attacks has prompted UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to urge all parties to cease hostilities and ensure peace.

Several towns in the northwest of the country have borne the brunt of fighting between rebel groups and the Central African armed forces.

Last Friday, three Burundian peacekeepers were killed in the CAR, where the rebel coalition broke its cease-fire shortly before the presidential and legislative elections.

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