World
African soldiers help 1,000 Muslims flee CAfrica
Publish Date: Apr 12, 2014
African soldiers help 1,000 Muslims flee CAfrica
FLEEING: People stand on a car with their belongings on the road from Mbaiki to Bangui on April 8, 2014. The crisis in the strife-torn Central African Republic has left 1.6 million people - a third of the population - in urgent need of food. PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BANGUI - African peacekeepers escorted more than 1,000 minority Muslims fleeing attacks by mainly Christian militias in the Central African Republic to neighbouring Chad, police told AFP on Saturday.
 
"Not a single Muslim remains in Bossangoa," a police source said, referring to a northwestern town, adding that they left for Chad on Thursday.
 
The refugees had gathered at a Koranic school and the Catholic Church's premises in Bossangoa, fearing for their lives if they stayed on in the town, he said.
 
Large-scale violence between Christians and Muslims had been raging in Bossangoa and nearby Bouca since last September, part of nationwide unrest sparked by a March 2013 coup.
 
Thousands have been killed and around a quarter of the country's 4.6 million people displaced, most of them Muslims, who make up around one-fifth of the overall population.
 
Muslims who lived peacefully alongside Christians for decades have abandoned entire regions since the conflict took on unprecedented ethnic and religious dimensions.
 
At least 150 people have lost their lives in the fighting in the Bossangoa region alone pitting former rebels of the Seleka movement that held power for 10 months against mainly Christian "anti-balaka" militias.
 
Seleka leader Michel Djotodia was forced to resign in January after failing to rein in his fighters, many of whom turned rogue and launched vicious attacks against non-Muslims.
 
Anti-balaka means "anti-machete" in the local Sango language and refers to the weapon of choice wielded by the Seleka -- but also taken up by the vigilantes.
 
Some 8,000 foreign troops -- 2,000 from former colonial power France and most of the rest from the African MISCA force -- are trying to disarm rival militias after a year of sectarian violence.
 
The ethno-religious conflict has led to international warnings of a potential genocide, but it is unprecedented in a nation that has endured decades of coups, army mutinies and general strikes.
 
With concerns mounting, the UN Security Council voted on Thursday to send some 12,000 UN peacekeepers to the country, including up to 10,000 military personnel and 1,800 police. This force is intended to take over from the French and AU missions, but not until September 15.
 
The European Union has meanwhile pledged to send 800 troops.
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Burkina Faso army announces dissolution of govt, parliament
Burkina Faso’s army has announced the dissolution of government and the country’s National Assembly...
Sweden to recognize State of Palestine today
Swedish government expected to officially recognize State of Palestine today, says Jerusalem official; Israel has been informed of decision...
Man dies after downing 56 shots of liquor
French police open an investigation following the death of a man in his 50s after he downs 56 shots during a drinking competition....
Zambia in mourning for president as US urges peaceful transition
Zambia holds a second day of mourning Thursday for president Michael Sata, who died in a London hospital, as his deputy Guy Scott becomes, pending elections, Africa''s first white leader since South Africa''s apartheid era....
Russia charges air traffic trainee over Total boss plane crash
Russian prosecutors on Wednesday charged a rookie air traffic controller over the Moscow plane crash that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total....
Zambia
Zambian President Michael Sata, who has died aged 77, rose from cleaning railway platforms in London to his country’s highest office....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter