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CENTRAL AFRICA: Inter-community violence worries.

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Inter-communal violence continues to worsen in Central Africa. Since the departure of former president François Bozizé in March 2012, driven out of power by the rebel coalition Séléka, the country is doomed to uncontrollable violence for over 5 years.

Seleka Muslims are opposed to anti-balaka who represent self-defense militias. Because of this internal fratricidal war, the population trapped as if in a vise, is defenseless, they are victims of repeated attacks and killings.

It is since March 2012 when President François Bozizé is ousted by the rebel Séléka coalition that the country has sunk into an unprecedented spiral of violence. The rebels had demands on the negotiating table. They wanted and still want to make their voices heard, including the implementation of the 2008 agreements that provided for their reintegration into the army. They also want more investment for the northern regions, completely neglected by the central government.

Since then, a resurgence of violence due to the clashes of the militias on both sides threatens the internal security of the country. Yet, on June 19, 2017 a glimmer of hope finally emerged for the country and its more than 5 million inhabitants. The signing of a peace agreement in Rome that provided for an immediate ceasefire and the final deposit of arms was signed by all political actors but also by the fourteen armed groups. This historic agreement was intended primarily to bring peace to the country but also to curb the unbridled struggle and violence between communities. Unfortunately, the deal quickly shattered in less than 24 hours.

To fight against this insecurity, which disrupts the socio-economic life of the population, between the end of May and June 2017, the Central African authorities set up a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program for the disarmament of thousands of rebels involved in the Second World War. that shook the country. 1000 people followed the program. However, this commendable initiative has unfortunately not allowed the total demilitarization of the different rebel groups.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017, yet another deadly attack was committed in the south-east of the country, a region long spared by violence. Civilians are always targeted according to their community or religious affiliation. Cars destroyed, motorcycles burned, churches and mosques looted, all acts of violence that testify to the situation of insecurity in the cities.

A renewed tension more and more disturbing. On Sunday, 22 October 2017, two soldiers from Minusca, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, were killed in the city of Bangassou after firing from the self-defense groups while securing a point of access to water for 2000 civilians displaced by the fighting. 40,000 of the city’s 45,000 inhabitants have been displaced. 90% still have not returned to their homes. A little further in the city of Zemio, 290 kilometers from Bangassou, there is a growing conflict between the Muslim community and the anti-balaka elements. In the city of Bria in the north, the FPRC, a faction of the former Séléka still controls the territory. The turmoil of deadly violence in the cities of Batango, Bria or Bangassou have caused enormous loss of life, caused by massive displacement of people. People who yearn for peace are worried.

There are more than a hundred dead and more than one million displaced, including 600,000 in neighboring countries: Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

       

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