March 20, 2014

Sectarian Violence In The Central African Republic

As the son of a missionary, a very good friend of mine was brought up in the Central African Republic. His brother, Chuck, is there as a missionary right now and we are praying for his safe return next week.The CAR has been in turmoil for years and it is getting worse.
Navi Pillay made the strong statement at a press conference in the capital, Bangui, on Thursday.

The UN's top human rights official described the hatred between Christian and Muslim communities in the Central African Republic as being at "a terrifying level."

Pillay also questioned whether there would have been a "far stronger and more dynamic reaction by the outside world" if the atrocities were not happening "in a poor country hidden away in the heart of Africa."

Reports of escalating violence in the republic had included decapitating children, cannibalism and lynchings, Pillay said.
Chuck has already had armed men storm into his home on several occasions. Rebels once rammed a rifle in his mouth and threatened to kill him.

The majority Christian government was overthrown a year ago by Muslim rebels; last December Christians tried to retake the capital but were repulsed. France and other African countries have sent peace keeping troops into CAR but they have been unable to stem the violence. Both Christian and Muslim refugees are fleeing into neighboring countries. 
Some 6,000 African peacekeepers and 2,000 French troops were deployed to the Central African Republic in 2013 to stabilize the country, but have a limited presence outside the capital.

Pillay also said the absence of law and order, apart from foreign troops in the country, meant that too little was being done to arrest those guilty of violence.

She told waiting reporters that "this has become a country where people are not just killed, they are tortured, mutilated, burned and dismembered."

The unstable African state was plunged into chaos when rebels who helped topple President Francois Bozize a year ago then started their own campaign to rule the republic.
Probably the only thing that has kept Chuck alive is that a regional hospital is supported through his mission - it treats everyone who needs medical attention no matter if they are Christian or Muslim. Because of this the combatants, for the most part, have left the hospital and its staff alone.

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