More than 40 people were killed in a militia attack on a Christian mission in Alindao, around 180 miles east of Central African Republic’s capital Bangui on 15 November. The attackers torched a church and forced 20,000 displaced persons who were sheltering in an adjacent compound to flee.
A local politician told journalists, “We have counted 42 bodies so far, but we are still searching for others. The camp has been burned to the ground and people fled into the bush.”
Alindao is a stronghold of a Muslim militia called the Union of Peace, which came out of the Seleka Islamist group. Christian-majority CAR has been wracked by violence since 2012, when Seleka Islamists overthrew the government. The deployment of a UN international peace-keeping force and repeated negotiated ceasefires between the government and armed groups have had little impact on the ground.
A number of news outlets reported that the 15 November attack on civilians sheltering in the Christian mission was a “reprisal” for violence by anti-balaka” militia – who misleadingly call themselves Christians, despite their actions being condemned by church leaders.