West & Central Africa

Anti-Balaka militia kills 20 Muslims in Central African Republic

Anti-Balaka Christian militia has killed about 20 Muslims in Djimbi Mosque on Friday 13 October, during the Jumat prayers, in the south-eastern region of the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The victims were at the mosque when Anti-balaka militants stormed the mosque, killing at least 20 worshipers,” said Abdouraman Bornou, the Muslim community leaders.

Mahamat, expressed his outrage. “What has just happened in Djimbi is devastating,” he said.

The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng denounced ethnic and religious hatred by armed groups and politicians in the war torn country.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the manipulation and incitement to ethnic and religious hatred instigated by armed groups and militias and accomplice politicians, with the aim of establishing territorial control, mobilizing combatants or extending their predatory instincts to private property and the country’s economic resources,” Dieng said.

The fighting in CAR escalated in recent months with accusations of complacency and involvement on the part of UN peace-keepers. They have been accused of raping women and attacking local communities.

The fighting erupted in 2013, when the Muslim Seleka militia overthrew President Francois Bozize, a Christian leader. The so-called ‘Christian’ Anti-Balaka took back the government but the war, which has claimed over half a million lives still rages in the country.

Though the Anti-Balaka militia is identified as a ‘Christian militia’, it consists mostly of rebel ethnic groups who are African traditional worshippers using fetish charms in their fights.

“Any individual responsible for criminal atrocities or incitement to commit such atrocities will sooner or later have to assume criminal responsibility for their acts and face national or international justice,” stressed Adama Dieng.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and priest of Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image credits: CC/Google images