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Crisis in the central african republic


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  • 1. The Crisis in the Central African Republic
  • 2. Bangui/Paris - Der Zentralafrikanischen Republik droht ein Bürgerkrieg, der auch auf Nachbarländer übergreifen könnte. Nach Angaben des Roten Kreuzes wurden nach zwei Tagen Gewalt in der Hauptstadt Bangui mehr als 280 Leichen geborgen. „Morgen wird ein sehr anstrengender Tag“, berichtet Pastor Antoine Mbao Bogo über die Bergungsarbeiten. „Ich glaube, wir werden noch einen vierten Tag brauchen.“Die französische Armee hat am Freitag Kampftruppen nach Zentralafrika gesandt. Bereits bei ersten Gefechten töteten Soldaten mehrere Rebellen in der Nähe des Flughafens der Hauptstadt. Das teilte das Verteidigungsministerium in Bangui mit. Der Uno-Sicherheitsrat hatte den Militäreinsatz gebilligt. Am Donnerstag war es zu den schwersten Kämpfen seit der Machtergreifung der Rebellenallianz Seleka im vergangenen März gekommen. Anhänger des Präsidenten François Bozizé, der bei dem Putsch gestürzten worden war, griffen die Hauptstadt nach unbestätigten Berichten von mehreren Seiten an. Nach stundenlangen Gefechten konnten die Seleka-Rebellen wieder die Oberhand gewinnen. Aus Furcht vor Übergriffen im Krisenstaat Zentralafrika haben tausende Anwohner Zuflucht am Hauptstadtflughafen Bangui gesucht. Nur Stacheldrahtzäune hinderten sie an einer Stürmung des Flughafengeländes, wie Reporter nach dem Beginn der französischen Militärintervention beobachteten. Auf dem Flughafenareal haben sowohl die von Paris entsandten als auch die afrikanischen Eingreiftruppen ihr Hauptquartier. Drohender religionsbedingter Völkermord Schon vor der jüngsten Eskalation der Gewalt hatte Frankreich 640 Soldaten am Flughafen von Bangui stationiert. Ihre Zahl soll nun in den kommenden Tagen durch die Verlegung weiterer Einheiten aus den Nachbarstaaten verdoppelt werden. Seit dem Staatsstreich kommt es immer wieder zu schwerer Gewalt zwischen den Bozizé nahestehenden christlichen Bürgermilizen „Anti-Balaka“ (Gegen die Macheten) und den muslimischen Seleka-Kämpfern. Letztere regieren nun mit ihrem Anführer, Übergangspräsident Michel Djotodia, das Land. Beobachter sprachen bereits von einem drohenden religionsbedingten Völkermord. Berlin Deutschland ist bereit, den französischen Militäreinsatz in der Zentralafrikanischen Republik mit einem Transportflugzeug zu unterstützen. Das sagte ein Sprecher des
  • 3. Religious conflict rips through Central African Republic A cycle of violence in the Central African Republic is quickly degenerating into a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims, amid a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, church leaders and U.N. officials warn. The landlocked nation of 4.6 million people has experienced chaos since March, when an Islamist rebel alliance known as “Seleka” overthrew President Francois Bozize, a Christian, and installed rebel commander Michel Djotodia as president. Seleka was formed in December 2012, when Islamists and other rebel groups from Chad and Sudan joined forces. The militants had crossed into the country, attacking government installations and destroying churches and church missions, businesses and homes, Christian agencies report. In the latest development, the U.N. said Wednesday that some 2,000 people were seeking shelter at a Catholic mission in the city of Bouca, in the northwest of the country. Hopes for peace had grown after Djotodia disbanded the Seleka in September, but sections of ex-Seleka fighters are still attacking villages and church centers. Church leaders say the violence is surging, while U.N. officials say the situation is slowly degenerating into a Christian-Muslim conflict as the rebels escalate attacks and Christian militia retaliate. Some have voiced fears of a potential genocide. “We did not have tensions until the arrival of Seleka,” said the Rev. Andre Golike, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Central African Republic. The armed conflict has produced 400,000 internally displaced persons and 64,000 refugees. International groups say people are in urgent need of relief aid. “The situation is bad and the people extremely worried,” said Golike. “There are also constant killings and abuse of civilians’ rights. Many are fleeing to the neighboring countries.” On Nov. 18, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a report to the U.N. Security Council warned that violence in the country risked spilling further out of control. In the report, Ban’s adviser
  • 4. The Crisis in the Central African Republic William Daniels photographed the latest Muslim-Christian attacks in Bangui, the capital of the beleaguered African nation.
  • 5. People demonstrate violently in the street in Bangui, demanding that President Djotodia steps down following the murder of a magistrate shot dead the night before. 30 minutes later, the Séléka arrived and fired into the crowd, killing two men and wounded one.
  • 6. A young girl whose family member, 21-year-old Fleuri Doumana, was killed two days previous by a grenade launched by a member of the Séléka.
  • 7. Army soldiers cry following the death of a colleague who was shot dead by Séléka members the night before.
  • 8. Antibalakas (a Christian self-defense group) and villagers walk in the bush to reach safety between Bossangoa and Bossembelé, fleeing their village because of violence. Antibalakas first took up arms to protect their families from the Seleka's wake of murder, rape and robbery. But some decided to take revenge on the surrounding Muslim communities because the Séléka is often populated by Muslims.
  • 9. Antibalakas march in the bush between Bossangoa and Bossembelé.
  • 10. Family members of army soldier Tanguy Residou cry during his funeral. The man was a nephew of President Bozizé.
  • 11. The Family of army soldier Tanguy Residou, who was shot dead by members of the Séléka, wait at the morgue to collect the body for funeral.
  • 12. CAR army soldiers carry the coffin of Tanguy Residou in Bangui.
  • 13. Fellow soldiers grieve over Residou's casket.
  • 14. Army soldiers and family members walk on the main road in Central Bangui with the body of a man who was shot dead by Séléka members.
  • 15. A relative cries over the death of a soldier shot dead by Séléka members the night before in Bangui.
  • 16. In Bossangoa, many Christians fled their villages after attacks by the Séléka, taking refuge around the cathedral. The people live there with minimal access to healthcare and adequate food and often live in poor sanitary conditions.
  • 17. The camps contain more than 40,000 displaced people.
  • 18. A child suffering of malnutrition and malaria in a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Bossangoa.
  • 19. Mothers and their malnourished children wait for treatment at a hospital in Bossangoa. Many children spent several month hiding in the bush to escape the violence.
  • 20. In the displacement camps, refugees live in incredibly poor conditions, lacking proper access to medical care.
  • 21. About 1500 Muslims fled the violence near their villages, taking refuge in a school in Bossangoa.
  • 22. Malnutrition and malaria are the main health problems affecting children in a country that was already badly affected by chronic humanitarian crisis before the violence.
  • 23. This man is crying after surviving an attack on his village between Bossangoa and Bossembele. The man in the doorway was killed during the violence which forced many to flee their homes. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 24. Reports of massacres in the area sent thousands of people fleeing. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 25. Displaced women carrying their belongings arrive in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, after fleeing violence in their village that left at least six people dead. The women walked for two days to reach safety. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 26. Many people fleeing the violence sought shelter in the grounds of the Roman Catholic church in Bossangoa. Some 37,000 people are sheltering there. © UNHCR/B. Heger
  • 27. A displaced woman prepares food in a makeshift kitchen on the grounds of the Roman Catholic church in Bossangoa. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 28. Some of the thousands of people in the church in Bossangoa, where UNHCR and its partners are trying to improve dire living conditions. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 29. These people have little to do to occupy their time at the church, but at least they feel a bit safer and less vulnerable to attack by armed men. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 30. This group of colourfully dressed women have just arrived with their children at the church in Bossangoa.
  • 31. This tired group want something to eat after their flight from their rural homes. Sanitation and hygiene are big concerns in Bossangoa. UNHCR is trying to find space for new arrivals. © UNHCR/B.Heger
  • 32. Kein Glaube unserer Welt rechtfertigt einen Krieg im Namen einer Religion. Stets sind es Menschen die uns diesen Wahnsinn glauben machen wollen. No faith justifies our world a war in the name of religion. Always there are people who want us to believe this madness.
  • 33. Photos: William Daniels- Panos for Time UNHCR