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Ethnic Tensions and Deadly Violence in Central African Republic
UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, where ethnic tensions have left 85 people dead. Photograph: Pacome Pabamdji/AFP/Getty Images (Guardian)
This week’s snapshot focuses on the recent violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). The CAR descended into sectarian violence following the ouster of former president Francois Bozize in 2013 by Muslim militias in the predominantly Christian country. Despite successful elections earlier this year, attacks have increased in the wake of France withdrawing all 2,500 of its peacekeeping troops. The UN’s mission has been plagued with allegations that peacekeeping forces, mostly from Burundi and Gabon, sexually assaulted over 100 young boys, young girls and women, even leading to the full expulsion of the peacekeeping force from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for misconduct. Recent clashes took place in the town of Bria, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui on 21NOV16 and pitted the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC) against the Union for Central African People (UPC). Both groups were part of the Seleka, a mainly Muslim coalition that toppled Francois Bozize. The clashes left 85 people dead. The United Nations has also singled out militia fighters in Central African Republic for hunting down and massacring members of the Fulani ethnic group. The FPRC have been targeting the ethnic group in Bria, carrying out house-to-house searches, entering hospitals, killing, looting and abducting residents. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic called for an immediate end to violence in response to the deaths and thousands of displacements.
News summary of events during the week of 21NOV16 – 28NOV16
Sample of Twitter handles tweeting about violence in the Central African Republic
Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the violence in the Central African Republic
Borrie la Grange, Spokesperson, Doctors Without Borders
“It’s hard to work in CAR. Security in the country is definitely not stable. The health system is not functioning and donors have started to disengage.”
Kasper Agger, Field Researcher, Enough Project
“Although many Christian and Muslim communities lived as friends and neighbours before the war, the conflict became coded in religious terms and vicious inter-communal violence between Christian and Muslim groups broke out.”
Christopher Day, Senior Fellow, Enough Project
“Over time, the machinery of regime politics in Bangui has changed little, only occupied by different sets of elite operators that view access to the state as a way to attain privilege and accumulate personal wealth. The current Transitional Government has slotted nicely into this pattern, with President Samba-Panza stocking her government with close associates, recycled elites, and members with ties to the Séléka and anti-Balaka.”
Father Patern Arland, Leader, Catholic Carmelite mission in Bangui
“We want the country to restart after this long period of war and crisis,” “The main objective now is to achieve peace so that people can start again to move around the country without fear.”
Augustin Majiku, Field Agent, Doctors Without Borders
“The government is not doing anything. The people on the ground are suffering. I do not know what they mean when they say the situation is getting better. The country needs urgent assistance.”
Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to the unrest in Central African Republic
Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 22 November 2016
Bangui, Central African Republic – The UN peacekeeping force in Central African Republic (CAR) said Tuesday one of its bases had come under fire during clashes between rival groups, prompting its troops to respond.
The violence erupted on Monday between rival factions of the so-called former Seleka Muslim rebel group in the town of Bria, 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Bangui, MINUSCA said in a statement.
Media: Xinhua (China)
Date: 22 November 2016
UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — The UN Integrated Multifaceted Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) stepped up patrols and called for an immediate end to violence after the clashes that broke out on Monday in Bria town, a press release said here Tuesday.
According to the press release, the clashes broke out between armed elements of the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC).
About 5,000 displaced civilians as well as local authorities and humanitarian organizations have taken refuge in MINUSCA’s premises in the town, and the UN mission said in the press release that the armed groups will be held accountable for the violence, particularly against civilian populations.
Byline: Crispin Dembassa-Kette
Date: 23 November 2016
Two days of fighting between armed groups in Central African Republic has left 16 people dead including civilians while 10,000 have fled their homes, the U.N. peacekeeping mission MINUSCA said on Wednesday.
The clashes took place in the town of Bria, about 600 km (375 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, and pitted the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic against the Union for Central African People.
Byline: Joe Bavier
Date: 27 November 2016
The United Nations’ top genocide official said on Friday he had reports that militia fighters in Central African Republic hunted down and massacred members of the Fulani ethnic group during violence that killed 85 civilians this week.
Clashes erupted on Monday in Bria, a town about 600 km (370 miles) northeast of the capital Bangui, between rival rebel groups the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC).
In a statement, Adama Dieng, the U.N.’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said the FPRC reportedly singled out ethnic Fulani in the town, carrying out house-to-house searches, killing, looting and abducting residents.
Media: Associated Press
Date: 27 November 2016
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The communications minister of Central African Republic says clashes between rival armed groups have killed at least 85 people and displaced 11,000 others.
Charles Paul Lemasset Mandjia said Sunday that the deadly fighting since Nov. 21 has also injured some 76 people.
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