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Posted on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 11:25

CAR's bloody Christian-Muslim divide continues

By Konye Obaji Ori

The UN believes at least 10,000 troops will be required to stop the marauding Christian groups. Photo©ReutersChristian militia groups in Central African Republic (CAR) to attack and kill Muslims despite strides made in reuniting the war torn country.

 

Despite the resignation of the country's first Muslim leader, the retreat of the mainly Muslim Saleka militant group, and the election of a new Christian president, the killings have continued.

the situation is very, very dire and the country is huge

According to the United Nations the situation is getting even worse as Muslim civilians are continuously being targeted.

More than 1,000 Muslim civilians have been evacuated this week.

The Saleka forces have left CAR, and most of them are being evacuated from military camps.

The UN believes at least 10,000 troops will be required to stop the marauding Christian groups.

Christian and Muslims leaders have asked UK Prime Minister David Cameron for more assistance.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council approved a resolution allowing European troops to use force against the violent Christian groups.

The 6,000-man African Union force in the country is been considered too small to manage the situation on ground.

"Frankly the situation is very, very dire and the country is huge,"French ambassador to the UN, Ambassador Gerard Araud said.

So far, 20% of the population - have fled their homes.

The European Union has since agreed to send up to 600 troops to help African and French troops already deployed in the country.

The new UN Security Council resolution passed on Tuesday would allow military reinforcements to use all necessary measures" to protect civilians in the country.

Many Christian communities had set up vigilante groups, accusing the mainly Muslim Saleka rebels of attacking them.

Religious violence erupted in CAR after Saleka rebels seized power last March.

The coup installed the country's first Muslim president Michel Djotodia who stepped down early this month.

Djotodia was forced to step down after he lost control of his fighters who then turned into looting, plundering, pillaging, and killing.

Christians felt threatened and formed vigilante groups.

The Christian vigilante groups, especially the Anti-Balaka group has continued to kill even after the Muslim president resigned, and a Christian president Catherine Samba-Panza took his place.

Anti-Balaka militias have transformed from protecting Christians into a lynch mob.

Although they see themselves as a Christian group, they are fortified with charms, amulets, ornaments, and talismans, which they believe will make them indomitable.



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