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BEIRUT: In a Middle East torn apart by war and conflict fighters are increasingly using food as a weapon of war.
Millions of people across countries like Syria, Yemen and Iraq are gripped by hunger, struggling to survive with little help from the outside world.
Children suffer from severe malnutrition, their parents often having to beg or sell possessions to get basic commodities including water, medicine and fuel.
The biggest humanitarian catastrophe by far is Syria, where a ruinous five year civil war has killed a quarter of a million people and displaced half the population.
All sides in the conflict have used punishing blockades to force submission and surrender from the other side, a tactic that has proved effective particularly for government forces seeking to pacify opposition-held areas around the capital Damascus.
Since October,…Read more
Please pray for those in a magnitude of suffering, pray for help. Pray for an end to the conflicts, pray for the presence of the Lord and pray for the lost to be found.
(Voice of the Persecuted) We have reported on the violence in the CAR since they were placed on the World Watch List (#16) for persecution that took place in 2013. It’s been relatively quiet for some time, or the authorities have gotten better at covering up. Now we hear allegations of French soldiers raping children as young as 9 yr. old for food. I don’t know if this is true, but we will be watching and attempting to verify this.
What we do know about the CAR and the refugee camps would make you recoil.
“There was a whole world that revolved not just around the French soldiers, but also the European force, especially at night-time,” a UN diplomat in Bangui said on condition of anonymity. A former camp resident, Elias Mboro Te Zogne, is convinced some of the displaced were exploited in exchange for food. via Rage grows in C.Africa over French troops in ‘child rape’ scandal.
- The French has had a presence since the 1920’s.
- Fighting broke out between government, Muslim, and Christian factions in December 2012, leading to ethnic and religious cleansing and massive population displacement in 2013 and 2014.
- While corruption ran rampant in government and the media. The UN portrayed this violence as Christian against Muslim, a religious war.
- In the past, Christians and Muslims have relatively lived in peace, until armed groups invaded.
- Michel Djotodia took over as president and in May 2013. He was the first Muslim to hold that office in the mainly Christian country. Djotodia was a leader of the almost entirely Muslim Seleka rebel coalition in the December 2012 rebellion against President François Bozize. Following a peace agreement, Djotodia was appointed to the government as First Deputy Prime Minister for National Defense in February 2013. When the peace agreement unraveled, the Seleka captured Bangui and Djotodia took power on 24 March 2013 and declared himself President.
- Central African Republic’s Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye requested a UN peacekeeping force from the UN Security Council.
- May 31 former President Bozizé was indicted for crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide.
- The security situation did not improve during June–August 2013 and there were reports of over 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as human rights abuses and renewed fighting between Seleka and Bozize supporters.
- September 2013, Djotodia officially disbanded the Seleka, but many rebels refused to disarm and veered further out of government control.
- The conflict worsened towards the end of the year with international warnings of a “genocide”and fighting was largely from reprisal attacks on civilians from Seleka’s predominantly Muslim fighters and a called Anti-balaka.
- Djotodia was eventually pressured to step down as president.
We watched as reports surfaced of brutality and horrific slaughter from the Seleka (Muslim rebels), and the Anti Balaka, who the media touted as Christian. But we found in our investigation, they are far from Christian. We also reported that The Lord’s Resistance Army still has a presence in this region, which this violent militia strongly resembles. They also practice many pagan rituals such as wearing amulets filled with their victims blood to ward off enemy attacks. The LRA abducted large numbers in the thousands (more than 6,000 in 1998 alone) of children, forced them into combat, and slavery. Abducted and raped, maimed and tortured females. Selling some to arms dealers. They wanted to form, so they said, a democratic government based on the Ten Commandments. What Ten Commandments they were following is yet to be divulged, as this group is not even proximate to Christianity. Their actions prove they do not follow the commandments of the Bible.
Very few media outlets report the similarities between the LRA and the Anti Balaka which are staggering. “As the years progressed, the LRA lessened their attacks in Uganda and began to attack other regions. They spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, and the Central African Republic (CAR). The LRA continued to move between these 3 regions and evaded capture despite the efforts made by joint military operations of the countries. The LRA continued to plague these regions with their only goal being survival. They performed raids on remote locations to gather food, money, or people which would help sustain their rebellion.” (quote from Global Security.org)
rebels have infiltrated refugee camps disguised as civilians perpetrating crimes. This video was published in January of this year. We will update on this as information becomes available.
It’s also been reported about the refugee camps from Sudan to the CAR and into Nigeria and Libya. And arms trafficking in this region has been verified. They’ve built a super highway from the Sudan to the coasts of Africa. And it’s been said that when the IDP’S moved from the Bangui airport into the refugee camps, the fighting between the 2 rebel groups worsened. This is when the division occurred in the population, as media and government quickly snatched the opportunity to fuel an ethnic war.
Human trafficking in this region is dire and spine chilling. The rebels infiltrated the camps kidnapping young boys for fighting, and raping the women and the girls. There are also report the boys are used for sex slavery. The world in essence has turned a blind eye. The UN labeled it the ‘Silent Crises.’ And in a modern society of short-attention spans, the focus shifted to the Boko Haram and the helpless people of the CAR were left to the genocide. Ethnic cleansing in the CAR and all of Africa continued. And it appears that world powers stepped in to vie for and divide the spoils— minerals, diamonds, and oil. The CAR is one of the richest areas of Africa but the people some of the poorest, living in squalor and fear. We all watched with horror as innocent people flocked to the airport in Bangui, only to be met with even more horrid conditions.
The French sent in forces to help and calm the chaos. They seem to be the only stabilizing force anywhere in the area—things are not always what they appear to be. Are these forces helping or the cause of further abuse? We will be asking questions and watching this very closely. To take advantage of those who are suffering is the worst of Human Rights Abuses. We cannot sit by and ignore the cries of the innocent.
Remember to pray for the victims of this conflict and the many suffering in the refugee camps.
C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst & L. Kanalos, VOP Founder/Advocate
(Voice of the Persecuted) We are acquiring information of conflicts in Central Africa that are still waging despite virtual media silence. The Congo has seen many wars and Human Rights abuses. Mass graves, rape of children and many human rights abuses have been brought to our attention. One thing I’ve learned over the last 6 years is to have an analytic mind while reading news. To research the facts and digging out the truth. Often you will find that nothing is as it seems on the surface.
Most interesting is that in Africa, the countries with the most persecution and genocide of Christians, is that Christianity continues to grow. And the demographics of Christians in the world are actually changing. According to Pew Research in 2050, nearly four-in-ten of the world’s Christians (38%) are expected to be living in sub-Saharan Africa, up from 24% in 2010 and less than 2% in 1910. In addition, by 2050, five of the 10 largest Christian populations in the world – Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda – will be in Africa, which had three of the 10 largest Christian populations in 2010.
In December, World Watch Monitor reported when Religious leaders called for dialogue in the Great Lakes Region (Congo).
(World Watch Monitor) Situated in the middle of the continent, the Great Lakes region is one of the most volatile areas of Africa. For decades, it has been ravaged by violent conflicts, such as the bitter ethnic rivalries that led to the Rwanda genocide of 1994, in which more than 800,000 people, mainly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered in the span of 100 days. Neighbouring Burundi also was torn by deadly ethnic tensions following its independence in 1963. Those tensions broke out in 2003 into civil war that lasted 12 years and claimed more than 300,000 lives.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, however, has suffered the worst conflict in Africa. Up to 6 million people were killed during the five-year civil war that started in 1998. Often referred to as Africa’s “World War” because it involved most of its neighbouring countries, the conflict technically ended with a 2003 peace agreement and the deployment of the United Nations’ largest peacekeeping mission, though the measures have yet to bring a lasting peace, particularly in the eastern regions of the country.
“This would commend us to draw lessons from it, in order to be able to allocate the things we can tolerate and those we cannot afford to tolerate anymore,” said Bishop John Rucyahana of the Anglican Church of Rwanda.
‘‘We need dialogue in order to strategize and set the pace for development,” he said. “We critically have to expose sources of conflicts as much as we need to dialogue to establish policies, not only to eliminate those conflicts, but also do it with the intent commitment to heal our social fabric.’’
‘‘It is imperative to assess and set apart all the things we can no longer tolerate, like the things that hinder our unity and disrupt the process of our development and our total recovery. We don’t only tolerate conflict resolutions or prevention but we remove it if possible,” Rucyahana said.
Further potential sources of violence exist, EIRENE’s regional director, Tahirou Sy Issaka, told World Watch Monitor in a telephone interview.
Several Great Lakes countries — Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Uganda – will hold elections in 2015. Issaka said religious and ethnic affiliations maybe manipulated for political purposes, creating conditions that could spark violence. (Read the full report)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo also known as DR Congo, DRC, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, DROC, or RDC(known as Zaïre 1965–97), is a country located in Central Africa. It borders theRepublic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan to the north,Uganda, Rwanda,Burundi and Tanzaniato the East, Zambiaand Angola to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 75 million.
- The Congolese Civil Wars, beginning in 1996, brought about the end of Mobutu Sese Seko’s 31 year reign, devastated the country, and ultimately involved nine African nations,multiple groups of UN peacekeepers and twenty armed groups.
- The wars resulted in the deaths of 5.4 million people since 1998 with more than 90% of those deaths the result of malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition, aggravated by displacement and unsanitary and over-crowded living conditions.
- Nearly half of the victims were children under five.
These facts seem to ring true in every conflict present today. The weak and the vulnerable are the victims, not the governments or the groups waging war against them. We are told that the Congo is still in conflict and human rights abuses abound, but are simply not being shared. So we went to work. We found reports of abuses, and raging conflict, that rebel groups in this area have alliances with Al-Shabob, (through the Allied Democratic Forces). And remember this is where the LRA raged their murderous campaigns of kidnapping and rape. When you begin to peel back the layers, the smell is overwhelming.
For the last couple years rights groups like Amnesty International and and sources such as World Watch Monitor have been reporting on the abuses of women. One Congolese Doctor say’s that “Rape is a weapon of mass destruction.” Last June, Fides Agency reported Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor, who has been working for years to treat victims of rapes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mukwege manages the health center of Panzi, in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu which together with North Kivu are two of the most unstable areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, due to the presence of numerous armed groups that terrorize the population.”Rapes – explains the doctor – are born from the desire to destroy the woman as the bearer of life. In this sense, they are weapons of mass destruction”. He goes on to say that “A woman is considered first of all a mother”, recalls the document. “She gives life. That is all which is to be considered sacred in African tradition. … In such a context, violence against women is considered a way of inflicting death to an entire community. It is a way to strike at the very heart of the community”. According to Dr. Mukwege, war rapes are weapons used in various conflicts around the world, from the former Yugoslavia to Syria: “I met some Bosnian women and Syrian doctors who told me of similar rapes.”
Reuters shared in March, that girls as young as 18 months old are being raped and left with horrific injuries. Precious babies and as one doctor said, their bodies have been destroyed. They cited that 34 babies and young girls had been treated from one community alone. Giving credence to the above report from Fides. It seems this evil is dead set on controlling the population and indeed destroying communities by attacking those who give life, not a new tactic. Whole communities in the Congo are being attacked, attacking the very vulnerable and defenseless….children. And nothing is done to stop this. Nothing from the media, nothing from World leaders, only silence.
The UN Peacekeeping force does have a presence and refuse to leave until they can make progress with Rwandan rebels, so we find many factions just lurking under the surface. Many rebel groups, many mentions of bloody and disastrous conflicts, incessant human rights abuses and the innocent suffer unspeakable horrors.
The New York Times did do an op-ed in Dec. of 2012, and titled the conflict in the Congo “The World’s Worst War.” The author of this articles say’s “The Congo has become a never-ending nightmare, one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II, with more than five million dead.” (Read here)
Something else stands out in the above report, the rapes have been marked by a level of brutality that is shocking even by the twisted standards of a place rived by civil war and haunted by warlords and drugged-up child soldiers.
More than 5 Million people killed. Wikipedia puts the numbers at 5.4 million since 1998. In January of this year, it was reported that the government opened fire on civilians protesting election law change. It seems this is a practice. A mass grave has been uncovered and reports say that overnight in January 421 bodies were buried by the government. It was uncovered when women working in a field smelled a stench and found a leg. A US based Human Rights Organization say’s that the bodies are from the crackdown on protesters in January. They called for exhumation of the bodies since the government said they were babies that died or fetuses. But the Government is refusing to exhumation—Human Rights Abuses again meet silence.
This morning the Fides Agency shared that The Democratic Republic of Congo would have the potential to be a rich country, not just for exotic and natural landscapes, but also for the presence of minerals such as gold, diamonds, iron, coltan and natural gas. The same oil fields, if properly exploited, could bring important resources to invest in the Country. Unfortunately, the proliferation of armed groups and often the economic interests of other Countries, which agree that the situation remains so, make any kind of change difficult. The violence of rebel groups, particularly in the eastern part of the territory, leave destruction everywhere, broken families, women raped, children abducted to be recruited by criminal gangs. In addition, health care is possible only in major cities. School education is not remotely contemplated. Extreme poverty is widespread with the exception of a very small group. Volcanoes in full activity and that are close to Goma make the already precarious situation even worse. One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Nyiragongo has already erupted over 50 times in the last 150 years, causing widespread damage and deaths, flooding the city and 14 other surrounding villages. A short distance from Nyiragongo is Nyamuragira volcano, the most active in all of Africa.
No justice, no condemnation, too few calls for committees to investigate. This is an ongoing story, one of indeed a never ending war, with the same players moving with the same agendas. Where is the outcry for their protection? Who will be their VOICE encouraging those with the power to act? Has history not taught us how our silence only emboldens violent men? With these questions, we are reminded of:
“A sad truth of human nature is that it is hard to care for people when they are abstractions, hard to care when it is not you or somebody close to you. Unless the world community can stop finding ways to dither in the face of this monstrous threat to humanity those words Never Again will persist in being one of the most abused phrases in the English language and one of the greatest lies of our time.” ― Paul Rusesabagina
“We must recognize that if we feel helpless when facing the record of human depravity, there was always a point at which any particular scene of madness could have been stopped.” ― Robert H. Abzug
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy
And the parable Jesus told of the Good Samaritan when a man beaten, half dead on the side of the road was overlooked by religious men, but noticed and shown compassion by a certain Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37
Often we miss the chance to care for those who truly need us. To speak up for those who are silenced out of fear or oppression. Maybe we’re afraid of being rejected or possibly humiliated in someway. For many, it’s simply easier to say nothing and go about our own business…to speak would require action. “My schedule doesn’t allow for that?” Surely someone else will step up to improve the situation, or so we hope… If that rings true for you, you’re not alone. In the past, a few of us have been guilty of the same.
Didn’t Jesus advocate for others? We should all remember that faith and action to go hand in hand. We have the power of God behind us and we are not called his hands and feet for nothing. Let us not find ourselves one day saying in regret, “Why didn’t someone do something…why didn’t I?” There will be no passing the blame, collective guilt begins with ‘me’. And we need to be accountable for our own actions or reactions.
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
We are Christians, be bold in faith, stand up, be a VOICE. It’s time for us to do something!
We will watch this closely and report as information becomes available.
- Pray for the Children
- Pray for the innocent
- Pray for God to shine light on this darkness.
- Pray for Him to send caring hands and comfort.
In Sudan, the Islamist government is stepping up attacks against Christians and black Africans in the Nuba mountains. The violence is part of President Omar al-Bashir’s decades long pursuit of ethnic and religious cleansing. In recent reports, we have broken down some of the causes of conflict spreading throughout Africa.
Once again we find ethnic/religious cleansing and natural resources is the cause for persecuting Christians and the people of the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. The people are tired of being casualties and oppressed by the greed of radicals, nations and men. Most likely, they will never see any benefits from the wealth produced from their homeland’s natural resources. Major news outlets publish sensational headlines keeping the focus on religious conflicts, which instigate and further spread violence and hate. But behind the scenes, they are stripped by powerful men causing and taking advantage of the instability, which mainly goes unnoticed by media and the international community. Where are the peacemakers?
Take a few moments out of your busy schedule to remember them and pray for them. Lift up our hurting family to the Lord. They are weary and want nothing but peace. May they feel the presence of God’s grace, mercy and your prayers.
There is a very dark spirit at work as world powers vie for control. Many know of the wars that wage in the Middle East and Africa. This report will help us breakdown the recent events taking place in Central African Republic (CAR). Blood-curdling news is coming out in this region….news of a systematic sectarian cleansing. I use the word systematic, as you will see the history of it being revealed and how it’s been building for years. One can connect the dots from Darfur and the ‘Janjaweed’ to the current crises and the interim president Djotodia. (More)
There is much controversy and darkness associated with Michel Djotodia, the self proclaimed president of CAR who has now been pressured to step down. He had formed the rebel group ‘Seleka’ to gain power. It’s been said that the uprisings happening now is not typical of Muslims forcing converts but a grab for power, what ever the costs. When you look a little deeper, you’ll find in Djotodia’s own statements.
In the months that followed Seleka’s takeover, the group was criticized for continuing to perpetrate violence against civilians. Djotodia was formally sworn in as President on 18 August 2013. On that occasion he said that he hoped to be “the last of my countrymen to have to take up arms in order to come to power”. He also vowed that he would not stand as a presidential candidate.
In deciphering this, we will try to peel the layers back to find what’s at the core. David Smith (Guardian UK) described it as, “A massacre of the innocents is taking place in the heart of Africa as the world looks the other way.” We agree and there is more to this, much more.
Major news outlets are reporting that Christians are committing atrocities of beheading children and even cannibalism. What is most disturbing is these reports, complete with video of so-called Christians slaughtering with a machetes, is the lack of proof or evidence to what is truly taking place.
They have even dredged up old reports of suspicious rumors that the prior president, François Bozizé was a cannibal who fed human meat to visiting dignitaries. The alleged accusations were investigated with no evidence ever found, charges were dropped and the president vindicated. But the propaganda makes for sensational headlines attracting many readers who will share with others. It’s hard to know how much truth is emanating from these reports, but when looking back at the history of this war and region, we can say it is eye opening.
This from Amnesty International in November 2013 show’s proof of the devastation in this country: (New satellite images reveal shocking aftermath of abuses in Central African Republic)
Expert analysis of new satellite imagery Amnesty International has obtained from the Central African Republic (CAR) reveals the shocking aftermath of recent human rights abuses amid spiraling violence by armed groups and security forces.
In the Bouca area, approximately 485 structures—represented here by yellow dots—appear burnt in imagery from November 2013. © DigitalGlobe 2013
Amnesty International continues to report the human rights abuses that may prove to be Crimes Against Humanity. They reported that since Dec. of 2012, hundreds of civilians have been killed while thousands are subjected to cruel torture, rape or other forms of inhuman and degrading abuse, which the Seleka are responsible for. There are claims of Seleka soldiers, bandits, and poachers burning properties and civilians end up suffering most in the power grab. These rebels are seeking revenge on Christians for supporting the new government. And reports of armed resistance groups fighting to protect themselves. Could it be an attempt to start a Holy War of Biblical proportions and why?
As the Janjaweed did in Darfur, the civilians watch their families being tortured, raped, murdered and their villages burned to the ground. With insufficient security being provided, they have rose up against the attackers.
The world turns the other way, while children are being recruited to fight, they too are tortured and killed. In one report a man describes the torture of his son. They spread a pepper paste on his armpits, legs and up his nose, then beat him almost causing asphyxiation. This horrific event is considered mild torture compared to what others experience.
The atrocities are not new. Amnesty International reports that it also happened during Bozize’s government and he also failed to intervene to stop it. Seleka members have grown from 5,000 in March, 2013 to 20,000 two months later. Most are criminals freed by seleka, highway bandits and poachers. I encourage you to read the detailed report by Amnesty International from March of 2013. (Here)
So why is the world silent? French and UN troops are there, yet still unable to end the chaos. World organizations are demanding for more intervention to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
Noteworthy is the world’s power grab for African minerals, oil and other resources the past few years. Is this the reason they are pitting these people against each other? CAR is predominantly Christian, with a small percentage of Muslims. They say it’s hard to know the exact numbers, as the Christian population is sedentary while the Muslim population is nomadic. In the past, they have relatively lived in peace, until armed groups invaded.
On Saturday, reports of Djotodia’s resignation sparked celebrations in the Christian communities. The western countries of France, Germany and the UN had sent extra troops fearing another Rwanda. Interesting is an excerpt from Reuters
The loose band of rebels had been held together by frustrations over underdevelopment of the north and desire for control over gold, diamonds, uranium and oil. Many of its men were battle-hardened fighters from Chad and Sudan.
Again, we find small references to the reasoning further stirring these groups against one another. Major publications are highlighting videos which claim are Christians waving branches and shouting, ’We have killed the Muslim’, referring to President Djotodia.
Is oil the real cause of this war? It has been reported by some that this is in fact the root cause, an oil pipeline in Doba. Apparently there is a 3-7 billion dollar pipeline between the Doba field in Chad and Cameroon. Could it be that investors were advised to stay away from the CAR, due to the instability that ramped up this so called sectarian violence? Could it be that the West and China were growing anxious and wanted those risks removed? It doesn’t take long while searching ‘Oil In CAR’ to find publications issuing warnings, as on Mining.com. and a publication called ‘African Energy’. Here is the lead into an article about the oil in CAR:
The prospect of Central African Republic eventually emerging as an oil producer is exciting a growing number of potential investors, including an aggressive New York-based private equity player, Chinese arms manufacturers, Gulf-based interests and a Brussels-based ‘NGO’ that won’t discuss its operations, as well as Colorado-based veteran Jack Grynberg.
I don’t claim to have insider information into these things, only a desire for the truth, no matter where it may lead. Evidence can not be found of Christians eating victims and beheading children that is not connected to the dark evil that has been emanating from this country. I will continue to watch and research, but for now much investigation still needs to be done. And with all the propaganda being shared, one must read between the lines.
The truth is over the last few years, Christian persecution has escalated dramatically in the Middle East and in Africa. Many are labeling what’s happening in the Middle East as a ‘Holy War’. Is it now spilling over into this region? What’s really going on?
WorldStage Newsonline— The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State has accused the police invading a church to disrupt their Sunday service, thereby trying to create a religious crisis in the state, saying they may have no option than to defend themselves.
Voice of America reports, as new transitional authorities try to restore order in the capital, residents say this crisis is political, not religious and the solutions to country’s problems lie in the political sphere.
“There is no religious crisis,” said Bangui resident Brice Ngagoui. “It’s just political manipulation because the rebels that came to power, [President Michel] Djotodia, are majority Muslim. Politicians took this community affiliation to give a religious connotation to this crisis. But in reality there is not an inter-religious crisis.”
Most of the innocent and persecuted have not asked for money, though even the fortunate can be found living in squalor. The number one thing they ask for, our prayers. We must come together united in prayer. Pray like never before, it is our direct connection with God and they do make a difference, He hears. Encourage others to pray for the innocent, the lost, and our brother’s and sister’s unjustly suffering in the world. I leave you with this from Paul:
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
By C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst
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