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Central African Republic: 100 killed in clashes between Muslims & Christians

22nd Jun 2017
Central African Republic: 100 killed in clashes between Muslims & Christians

By Hassan Isilow

 

JOHANNESBURG (AA): Some 100 people were reportedly killed in intense fighting that broke out Tuesday in the Central African Republic (CAR), local media and officials said Wednesday.

The Central African Republic’s news agency, Le Nouveau Centrafrique (LNC), said 110 people had been killed in clashes between the Christian militant group Anti-balaka and a faction of former Seleka fighters, a collection of mainly Muslim rebel groups.

The mayor of the eastern-central town of Bria, Maurice Belikoussou, was quoted by several media outlets confirming that up to 100 people had been killed in fighting.

The clashes come barely a day after the country signed a peace deal Monday with 14 militant groups operating in the country.

The deal reached in Rome, brokered by the Sant’Egido Catholic Community, called for an immediate end to hostilities in the African country.

“Intense shooting started at 6am (Tuesday); by 9:30am, we had already received 35 wounded patients at the hospital,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.

Mumuza Muhindo Musubaho, the group’s coordinator in Bria, said the injured mostly sustained gunshot wounds, but gave no number of fatalities.

The mineral-rich landlocked country descended into anarchy in 2013, when ex-Seleka rebels overthrew Christian President Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

Micheal Djotidia was then installed, becoming the country’s first Muslim president since its independence from France in 1960, but his reign was short-lived after regional leaders forced him to step down.

His exit in 2014 led to increased attacks on Muslims, forcing thousands to flee to neighboring Chad and Cameron.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) peacekeeping force has yet to issue a statement on the latest clashes.

[Archive Photo: Pope Francis visits Central Mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic on 30 November, 2015. Photographer: Herve Serefio/AA]

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