Central African Republic 2013. For Le Monde. On the 5th of December 2013, Christian anti-Balaka militiamen came to Bangui to take control over the capital and overthrow transitional President Michel Djotodia, who had come to power in March 2013, after the Seleka’s military coup. This attack, and the harsh repression of the Seleka soldiers, predominantly Muslim, against civilians, plunged the country into fear, starting a vicious circle of inter-community violence.
During the month of December, the gap grew wider between those who claim to “have been living well together, before”.
Day after day, rumours exaggerate the exactions from both camps, urging both Christian and Muslim extremists to looting, revenge and reprisals. Then, public beatings started to occur. Every day. In front of French soldiers of the Sangaris Operation.
Every morning of December, terrorized Bangui inhabitants looked at the Red Cross employees removing the corps of those who had been killed during the night.
Today, almost one million of Central African have left their homes to take a refuge in schools, churches or on the tarmac of the Bangui airport, which is under the protection of the French Army. A very deep humanitarian crisis adds to a political and security one.
The International Community hesitates to get involved, afraid by a country where political life is governed by coups and politicians are not well known.
France, that intervened too late and with not enough soldiers, can’t rely on the African forces of the MISCA (International Support Mission to the Central African Republic) which is too disorganized. The former colonial country is now stuck in the middle of the Central African quagmire, in spite of itself.
Central African Republic is going through the most important crisis of its history. Everyday, hate, resentment and despair guide its inhabitants towards a dark future. January, 7th. 2014.
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