My Comment: This is disturbing as there have been reports and videos of the Seleka leaving town, and again we see reports of the Anti-Balaka forces clashing. The UN is calling for sanctions on anyone violating disarmament and arms embargo’s. Through many months and lives lost to this, yet still there are unanswered questions. Terms are used like ‘Sectarian lines drawn’ and ‘common criminality.’ They say as the Seleka left town, they threatened retaliatory actions. Was the reason behind the killing of a Pastor and son?
There is a report that came out on the 29th of January, that said the CAR’s 20 member cabinet appointed on Monday the 27th, has 7 women and Three Ex-Seleka Members (More here.) appointed by Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke. And the deposed Djotodia’s family will hold a government and minister position. Again, many unanswered questions and implications. This region is far from calm. Continue to pray for the people of this region. Pray for the religious leaders that may have wisdom and courage. Pray for guidance, pray for comfort, pray for their basic needs to be met, pray for caring hands to provide relief. And Pray for peace. The following detailed report is from Assist News Service.
By Jeremy Reynalds Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service Pastor Kongbo, treasurer of the Union des Eglises Baptistes (UEB), was killed on Jan. 28 along with his son at their home by Seleka forces as violence erupted in the northern suburbs of the Central African Republic’s (CAR’s) capital city Bangui.
The Seleka fighters have not been disarmed, causing civilians in the area to seek refuge in the church of Saint Charles de Louanda in PK 12 for fear of attack.
Since Jan. 21, there have been ongoing clashes between anti-Balaka forces and Seleka fighters supported by armed Muslim civilians in Bangui’s PK5, PK11, PK12 and PK13 areas.
CSW said Christian and Muslim religious leaders have appealed for calm and the CAR’s senior Muslim leader, Imam Omar Kabine Layama, is visiting Europe with Catholic Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga to advocate for peace and call on European leaders to assist with the reconciliation process.
However, Walidou Modibo, imam of the Central Mosque in Bangui, has said Muslim leaders had given up calling for peace due to the atrocities being committed against their community.
As a heavily armed Seleka convoy left Bangui for the north on Jan. 26, the group reportedly threatened retaliatory attacks on Christian communities in the northern towns of Ndélé, Bria and Birao in response to anti Balaka attacks on Muslim communities. The Seleka withdrawal has also raised fears of the possibility of a partitioning of the country along sectarian lines.
CSW reported that in a statement released on Jan. 27, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay expressed her deep concern at “the proliferation of armed groups and the explosion of common criminality which are making the situation even more chaotic and dangerous.”
She called upon the international community “to strengthen peacekeeping efforts” throughout the country as a matter of urgency, saying “Many lives are at stake.”
On Jan. 28, the UN Security Council agreed to sanctions allowing for targeted punitive action against anyone violating an arms embargo imposed in Dec. 2013, committing human rights abuses, undermining peace and stability or obstructing humanitarian assistance. The Council also unanimously authorised the deployment of a European Union force.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in the news release, “Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pastor Kongbo and with all who have lost loved ones in the last few days of fighting in Bangui. The continuing efforts of key leaders from both religious communities towards reconciliation in the face of relentless atrocities is courageous and laudable, and we join them in condemning violence committed by all armed groups.”
He added, “Every assistance must be given to Interim President Samba-Panza and interim Prime Minister Nazapayéké as they begin the monumental task of stabilizing the country, restoring law and order, disarming the various militia groups, encouraging reconciliation and facilitating the return of one million displaced citizens to their homes.”
Christian Solidarity Worldwide works for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.