(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.
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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