Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


CAR kill fest stopped - French army

04 February 2014, 07:00

Bangui - The violence in Central Africa has been "partly halted", the head of the French army said on Monday, even as reports emerged that at least 75 people had been killed in a single town.

France's chief of defence staff Edouard Guillaud said during a visit to the capital Bangui that the process of disarming both sides had begun, and that "the violence has been partly halted".

His visit comes two months after France sent troops into its former colony to stop the bloodletting between Christians and Muslims that began when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebellion overthrew the government last March.

It coincides with fresh reports of fighting in the west of the Central African Republic (CAR), underscoring the scale of the challenge facing the 1 600 French and around 5 500 African Union peacekeepers in the country.

Cassien Kamatari, a local priest, said at least 75 people had been killed since Tuesday in fighting in the town of Boda that was still going on.

Kamatari said his parish was sheltering 1 500 people who had fled the violence between Christians and Muslims in Boda, 100km west of the capital Bangui.

"Heavily-armed Muslims erected barricades at the entrance and exit to the town and launched attacks on Christians, forcing them to flee," he told AFP by telephone on Monday.

"At least 60 people were killed and many others injured, 15 of whom died of their injuries."

All those victims were Christian, he said. The number of Muslim victims could not be determined because their bodies were buried immediately.

The former French colony descended into chaos last March when the Seleka overthrew the government and installed one of their leaders, Michel Djotodia, as the country's first Muslim president.

Shooting randomly

The coup unleashed a cycle of inter-religious violence that has raged nearly unabated for 10 months despite the presence of French and African peacekeeping troops.

Around 80% of the population is Christian, but the CAR has a significant Muslim minority who live mainly in the north.

The security situation in the capital has improved since the peacekeepers' arrival, although there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence.

The threat from ex-Seleka fighters has largely been neutralised in Bangui.

But with international troops concentrated in the capital, witnesses said former rebels had launched attacks on several western areas in recent days.

Local resident Nicole Maleyombo gave a tearful account of how former Seleka fighters descended on the northwestern town of Ngaoundaye and began shooting indiscriminately.

"The local people all fled into the bush. They then started chasing people into the bush, and kept on shooting at them. We still don't know how many people were killed," said Maleyombo.

Kamatari said the fighting in Boda began after former Seleka rebels who were preparing to leave the area told the local Muslim population to group together so they could defend themselves against possible attack from Christians.

The fighting erupted on Tuesday after the former Seleka left the area.

"Those who have taken refuge in the parish have nothing to eat, they want for everything. While those who are still trapped in their homes are being hounded," said Kamatari.

He said he had appealed for help from the French force but so far had no response.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...