Violence is spreading across the Central African Republic (CAR) as Seleka Islamist militants wreak havoc in Koui in the north and Kouango in the south of this Christian-majority country. According to reports, over 200 deaths had been recorded by Monday (26 September) in Kouango alone and the other residents have fled across the Oubangui river to take refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This follows violence last week, including the murder of up to 26 Christians, in Ndomete, near Kaga-Bandoro in the centre of the country.
The violence in Kouango was triggered when a Muslim forcibly seized the wife of a non-Muslim. In the altercation that followed, the Muslim was killed. In response “Seleka militants from Bambari descended on the town in force, killing men, women and children in their path,” reports our contact in CAR. “The horrors taking place are indescribable.”
The population of the capital, Bangui, is in uproar, reacting to reports that the UN peacekeeping forces (called MINUSCA) refused to allow the CAR national army to go to Kaga-Bandoro to restore order. “Knowing all too well that it was those same UN troops that helped the Seleka leaders to escape from Bangui and make their way to Kaga-Bandoro in the first place, the people are simply not ready to take any more of this,” writes our contact.