Muslims leave CAR capital Bangui

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Anti-Muslim Attacks‏, Bangui, Muslims,Peacekeepers have escorted more than 1,200 Muslims out of the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui.

They were some of the last remaining Muslims in the city, who have been targeted by Christian militias in the country’s civil conflict.

The country has been hit by civil conflict since Seleka rebels ousted the president in March 2013.

The largely Muslim Seleka rebels were accused of targeting Christians, prompting worsening sectarian violence.

Also on Friday, there were reports that at least 22 people, including 15 local chiefs and three local workers for the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), were killed in an attack in the town of Nanga Boguila.

The killings happened on Saturday with most of the victims dying when an MSF-run clinic was attacked, Gilles Xavier Nguembassa, a former MP for the area, told Reuters.

Mr Nguembassa said Seleka rebels were responsible for the attack.

Ethnic cleansing

The convoy carrying Muslims from Bangui’s PK-12 district headed to the relative safety of two towns in the north of the country.

Shortly after the convoy left, looters descended on the district to strip houses and businesses, and even the mosque.

“We didn’t want the Muslims here and we don’t want their mosque here anymore either,” looter Guy Richard told AP.

Some Muslims do remain in Bangui but thousands have fled Christian-majority areas in recent weeks, heightening fears of a de facto partition of the country.

Amnesty International has accused peacekeepers of failing to prevent ethnic cleansing.

“I leave with a heavy heart but we have been chased from here,” PK-12 resident Tonga Djobo told AP.

Aid agencies have warned the expulsions could exacerbate a food crisis, as many of the shops and wholesalers were run by Muslims.

Around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have fled their homes due to the conflict.

After the mainly Muslim rebel Seleka group deposed President Francois Bozize and installed their leader Michel Djotodia as president, it was accused of targeting Christians.

In January, Mr Djotodia was in turn forced to step down amid criticism he had not done enough to stem sectarian violence.

Since then, Muslims have been singled out for attack, with thousands fleeing their homes, many to neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and Chad.

Some 6,000 African Union and 2,000 French troops have been sent to CAR to try to halt the bloodshed but officials want the UN Security Council to deploy a force of around 12,000.

Source: BBC

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