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.


Almost all mosques destroyed in CAR unrest

18 March 2015, 21:01

New York - Almost all of the 436 mosques in the Central African Republic have been destroyed by months of vicious fighting between Christians and Muslims, the US ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday, calling the devastation "kind of crazy, chilling".

Samantha Power spoke to reporters after a Security Council visit last week to the country. She expressed concern about an upcoming possible security vacuum as European Union and French forces pull out and a UN peacekeeping force is still not at full strength.

At least 5 000 people have been killed since Central African Republic exploded into unprecedented sectarian violence in December 2013. Nearly 1 million of the Texas-sized country's 4.5 million residents have been displaced. Many of those who have fled are Muslim.

Power said 417 of the country's mosques have been destroyed. She visited the one remaining Muslim neighbourhood in the capital, Bangui, and described the residents as "a terrified population".

Some Muslim women, afraid of leaving the community while wearing their veils, are choosing to give birth in their homes instead of hospitals, the ambassador said.

Also read: Egypt try policeman over death of female protester

UN peacekeepers, French forces and a European Union military operation have tried to calm the violence. But Power said the last of the EU force of about 750 troops left the Central African Republic over the weekend, shortly after the Security Council visit.

"That's a big drop-off in capability," she said. Meanwhile, the French forces have announced a "substantial drawdown" by the end of this year. France had sent 2 000 troops to its former colony.

The UN peacekeeping force remains at about 80% of its planned strength of about 10 000, Power said. The UN secretary-general last month asked for more than 1 000 additional peacekeepers, and Power said the council is "very favourably disposed" to the request.

She said the combined forces have "averted a worst-case scenario", but the country's roving armed groups remain armed.

The ambassador called that a deep cause for concern and said disarmament is a "huge priority".

- AP


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...