African Press Association

CAR mothers, children murdered for their religion

A mother holds her child while attempting to take cover as repeated gun shots are heard close to Miskine district during continuing sectarian violence in the capital Bangui January 28, 2014.

From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – MILITANTS have brutally murdered six women and several children for their religious affiliation over the past week in the restless Central African Republic.
This is in the wake of the resurgence of violence, atrocities and the violation of human rights with religious and ethnic connotations.
The violence and murders committed by Muslim radicals and Christian extremists have been reported in the localities of Alindao, Bangassou, Mobaye and Bria.
Humanitarian actors are increasingly being attacked while performing their duties.
In the past three days, three of them were violently beaten despite the fact they were helping those in need.
The Humanitarian Coordinator in the CAR, Najat Rochdi, condemned the assassinations of women and children as well as extreme violence targeting particular communities.
“Any attack on religious or ethnic grounds is an attack against humanity and the universal values that unite us all and should no longer have a place in the Central African Republic where we seek to heal the wounds of the past,” Rochdi said.
The envoy also warned perpetrators in these atrocities against the stigma that brought the CAR into crisis in December 2013 when President François Bozizé was toppled. The March election of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has failed to thwart
Some 900 000 civilians have been displaced in the landlocked country of 5 million people.
Of these, 500 000 are stranded inside the country.
This is the biggest refugee toll in three years.
Rochdi called upon the parties to the conflict to put the interests and welfare of civilians above all other considerations.
“Only dialogue and tolerance will enable the CAR to find peace.”
CAJ News