BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Christian clerics of the Central African Republic have asked for help to disarm a murderous Muslim insurgency and prevent a genocidal sectarian civil war, according to the Christian Post.
Meeting last month in the capital at Bangui, more than 100 church leaders from different denominations drafted a document accusing Seleka Islamists of killing pastors, raping nuns, torturing civilians, burning villages and destroying churches.
In a joint statement, the clerics urged the international community to come to CAR’s rescue and prevent it from falling into the hands of religious fanatics. They specifically requested the immediate deployment of an international force to disarm the rebel Islamists and protect the civilian population; they also asked for humanitarian aid to create a transitional government and a new constitution.
Although vigilante groups have formed to defend themselves, CAR clerics claimed it only led to more violence after rebel Islamists launched a genocidal counter-offensive.
Clerics also noted the presence of Arabic-speaking mercenaries from Chad and Sudan fighting for Seleka.
Back in March, Seleka rebels had forced CAR President Franois Bozize to flee the country; in the ensuing months, Islamist rebels killed hundreds of people and forced thousands more from their homes.