Central Southern Africa

Tensions and terror in Bossangoa (CAR). A poignant testimony

In the diocese of Bossangoa, the Christian population takes refuge around churches and schools. 40 people living in (Credits: Africatime.com)
In the bishopric of Bossangoa, the Christian population takes refuge around the churches. 40 people who cannot return home and live in these improvised camps. (Credits: Africatime.com)

(BRUSSELS2) In Bossangoa, 305 km north of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), the alarm bells have been ringing for a long time. Since the beginning of September, the violence has accelerated. The city is today the main scene of tensions between the Christian majority and the Muslim minority. It is impossible to have a real estimate of the number of deaths. The spokesperson for the presidency, Guy-Simplice Kodégué, mentions a death toll of around 100 deaths, but the secretary general of the Islamic community speaks of 369 killed among his co-religionists.

On the Christian side, B2 received the testimony of Father Jérôme Emilien Dansona, from the diocese of Bossangoa. His logbook is testimony to this daily fear of the population in the face of unrest and a Seleka left in the open. Excerpts:

« The tension this week will have been very high in Bossangoa. It all started on Saturday November 16. Elements of the Seleka were reportedly attacked by elements of the anti-balaka militia on the road to Bangui. When the news spreads, fear begins to set in among the population taking refuge in the premises of the Catholic Church. Indeed, the scenario has now become classic. Elements of the Seleka go to villages to steal or extort money from the population; or quite simply to carry out acts of reprisal against a village suspected of harboring anti-balaka. When it happens that they encounter resistance from these self-defense militias, resistance which sometimes results in deaths on both sides, the Seleka then immediately return to Bossangoa to vent their anger on the civilian population of the town. . (…)
" Thursday 21 November). A convoy of food sent by the WFP (NB: the world food program) is blocked at the Seleka barrier in Katanga at the entrance to Bossangoa. After negotiation, the convoy is released, but 10 elements of the Seleka must attend the unloading of the convoy. In fact they suspect these trucks of transporting weapons and ammunition for the anti-balaka militia. In the evening, the famous elements of the regular defense and security forces, long promised by the government, arrived in Bossangoa. Hold on tight: 10 gendarmes and 3 police officers without PGA (total food allowance) equipped with 5 Kalashnikovs. In the event of an attack, two men will agree to use a weapon. Ridiculous or cynical? These 10 poor men must have displeased somewhere to deserve such punishment. Fortunately, FOMAC (*) sent them a few men for their protection. Having come to protect, it is they who now seek to be protected. » (…)

Download the Testimonial in its entirety (be careful! some photos may be shocking). It was also published in the French daily “La Croix”.

(*) FOMAC, the Central African Multinational Force deployed by ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) came, in August 2013, under the aegis of the African Union and became the Mission international support for the Central African Republic (MISCA).

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Leonor Hubaut

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery Leonor Hubaut is a journalist. Graduated in international relations from the Free University of Brussels (specialization in globalization). She covers for B2 the work of the European Parliament, CSDP missions and African issues. Sahel specialist.