Violence Continues to Plague the Central African Republic, at least 100 dead since September

One of the highlights scars visited by the Pope in Central African Republic One of the highlights scars visited by the Pope in Central African Republic Crispen Dembasa-Kette

1 December 2015
Muslim man killed the day after Pope Francis calls for peace in CAR. 

On Tuesday December 1st, a Muslim man was killed just on the edge of a Christian-besieged enclave on the Central African Republic’s capital. The killing came a day after Pope Francis visited the area calling for peace and tolerance between feuding Muslims and Christians. Since September 25th, the Human Rights Watch documented at least 100 killings in and around the enclave. Most of the killings were between civilians, including women and elderly. Human Rights Watch also identified the destruction of 1,075 buildings in the northeast and southwest neighborhoods of Bangui, CAR’s capital. An estimated 35,000 people were displaced from the destruction.

Pope Francis visited the country on November 29th and 30th to urge the country to end the feuding. He visited the Koudoukou central mosque in Kilometre 5 and the displacement camp. Kilometre 5, the last remaining Muslim enclave in Bangui, now has only about 15,000 inhabitants, down from some 122,000 that lived in the capital before the conflict began in March 2013. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians have fled the country or sought shelter in the enclaves.  

The conflict began in 2013 when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in the majority Christian country. This sparked a series of violent reprisals from Christian and Muslim militias. Leaders from both sides of the feuding have admitted to manipulating the media for political gain. As both sides continue to push for revenge, a bitter circle of violence continues. In a speech by Pope Francis to the people of CAR, he said the citizens “must say no to hatred, to revenge and violence.”


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