Hundreds of burnt-out homes and trucks can be seen along the road to Bouar. Copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, along with Muslim identity documents, lie on the ground…
As usual, this comes from the heavily Islam-infusedÂ World Bull / News Desk:
“I don’t want to see them [anti-balaka],” Alidou, who joined a convoy of trucks carrying Muslims fleeing the violence, told Anadolu Agency.
“Every time they come, I run and hide in the forest; they’ve killed many people,” added Alidou, whose mother and father, the latter an ex-Seleka fighter, have already fled to neighboring Cameroon.
Aboard one of the trucks is Alidou’s childhood friend, Juisse, a Christian, who joined the convoy in fear of his father, an anti-balaka militiaman and former member of the CAR army (FACA).
Juisse hopes to go to Cameroon and live with his grandmother there.
The convoy, led by African peacekeepers, set out early Saturday from Bangui, CAR’s restive capital, en route to Garoua-Boulai on the border with Cameroon.
Hundreds of burnt-out homes and trucks can be seen along the road to Bouar, a border town. Copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, along with Muslim identity documents, lie on the ground.
Each time the convoy stops, the refugees search for discarded Qurans and the identify papers of missing friends or relatives. Many try – in vain – to call loved ones still stranded in distant villages.
CAR descended into anarchy in March 2013 when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Francois Bozize, a Christian, who had come to power in a 2003 coup. The rebels later installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, as interim president.
In the months since, the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militias and former seleka fighters.
Violence against Muslims has intensified since Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian, was elected interim president in January.
Machete-wielding Christian militiamen now roam the BanguiÂ suburbs, often erecting illegal checkpoints in order to identify and lynch Muslims.
A number of Muslims have recently been lynched in broad daylight and their bodies set on fire. Several mosques in Bangui, too, have been destroyedÂ and scores of Muslim homes looted.
Christians, who constitute the majority of CAR’s population, accuse Muslims of supporting former seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.