At least 1,075 buildings destroyed in CAR in last two months

Human Rights Watch report says at least 1,075 buildings destroyed in last two months during violence in Central African Republic

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

10 Dec: A Christian mob attacks a mosque in Bangui

At least 1,075 structures were destroyed during the ongoing violence in the Muslim enclave of Kilometre 5 in Central African Republic's capital city of Bangui between September 26 and November 13, according to the report released by Human Rights Watch.

Independent watchdog organisation, Human Rights Watch has released a report on Thursday about the ongoing religious violence in Central African Republic (CAR), titled ‘Central African Republic: New Wave of Killings’.

The report says that, at least 100 people have been killed –mainly civilians- in brutal violence and an estimated 35,000 people have fled their homes since September 25,2015.

The most recent violence started up once again on September 25 in Bangui, when a 17 year-old Muslim motorcycle taxi driver, Amin Mahamat was killed.

Kilometre 5 is the last remaining Muslim enclave in capital Bangui, which has a population of approximately 15,000. Before the conflict began in March 2013, nearly 122,000 Muslims were living in Bangui.

“The Muslim enclave of Kilomètre 5 has become the fault line of the bloody sectarian violence gripping Bangui,” said Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

He said, “Pope Francis’ visit to Bangui is a critical moment for a senior religious figure to condemn the violence by all sides, urge tolerance, and call for those responsible to be brought to justice.”

Pope Francis will visit the Central African Republic on November 29 as the last step of his Africa tour after Uganda and Kenya.

The pope is scheduled to visit the Koudoukou central mosque in Kilometre 5 and an internal camp for displaced people.

He is highly expected to speak about ongoing religious violence in the country and call for peace and unity.

In March 2013 united opposition group Seleka –mainly Muslim-  overthrew president Francois Bozize who has been highly criticised for corruption and abuses of human rights. After Seleka came to power and took control of the whole country, a militia group called Anti-Balaka started fighting against Seleka and carried out large scale attacks against Muslims in CAR.

Also as a result of the attacks, hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians fled the country or got stuck in enclaves.

The UN children's agency, UNICEF said on Friday that more than one million children in the Central African Republic are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

United Nations’ peacekeepers, including one French soldier, of the country are facing accusations of sexual abuse.

Diane Corner, Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General in Bangui said, she has been made aware of 18 cases of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers in the 18 months since its mandate came into power, nine of which involved children.

United Nations’s peacekeeping forces, also known as MINUSCA, have been sent by the UN Security Council to stop the violence and help stabilise the country.

TRTWorld and agencies