About a million people in the Central African Republic - 20% of the population - have
fled their homes during months of communal violence after Seleka rebels seized power
In recent weeks there have been more reports of atrocities committed by rival militias
in an atmosphere of increasing insecurity.
Peter Bouckaert, director of emergencies for Human Rights Watch, told the BBC's Focus on
Africa programme he saw French peacekeepers do nothing while corpses were mutilated at
the airport at the capital Bangui on Wednesday. The French defence ministry has not
It was an absolutely horrific scene when we arrived at the entrance to the airport in
We found a large mob of people, and French soldiers at the scene. The crowd was
mutilating two bodies of Muslim men that they had just killed with machetes.
There were probably about a dozen people involved in the mutilation. They were probably
members of the anti-balaka Christian militia.
Large crowds of people had gathered, including children.
They cut one man's genitals off and put them in his mouth.
It really was a scene of absolute horror.
People were filming this on their cell phones and many were laughing. When we left the
scene, they said: "Keep on filming, because we're not yet done." . . .
[Central African Republic has suffered decades of dictatorship, coups and rebellions that
have kept the diamond-rich country in many ways frozen in time since its independence
from France in 1960.--"Christian mobs attack Muslims in Central African Republic,"
Associated Press, December 9, 2013]
Bate Felix, "Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's
capital," Reuters, December 20, 2013
[Christian President Francois Bozize fled to neighboring Cameroon and Seleka leader
Michel Djotodia declared himself President. He is the country's first Muslim head of
about power, religion," dw.de, December 21, 2013]
Sudarsan Raghavan, "Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in
Central African Republic," washingtonpost.com, February 7, 2014
"Central African Republic:
'Ethnic cleansing' of Muslims," bbc.co.uk, February 12, 2014
Andrew Harding, "CAR crisis: The church
sheltering Muslims," bbc.co.uk, February 14, 2014
Louis Charbonneau, "U.N.
says west of Central African Republic 'cleansed' of Muslims," reuters.com, March 6, 2014