Muslim Rebels Murder 6 Christians in Door-To-Door Raid in Central African Republic
Muslim rebels in the Central African Republic raided a predominantly Christian village and killed six people in a door-to-door attack last Friday.
According to a source who spoke with the nonprofit organization Morning Star News, militants from Séléka alliance of rebel militias stormed the village of Ndomete, which lies about 220 miles north of the CAR capital of Bangui, around 8 p.m. last Friday.
The source, speaking anonymously from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, explained that the militants went house-to-house to massacre Christians.
Morning Star News, a donor-funded organization dedicated to exclusively reporting on the persecution of Christians, reports that the massacre in Ndomete comes as fighting between the Séléka and Christian militias has increased in the past year.
However, all those killed in Ndomete on Friday were civilians.
While it was originally reported by Reuters and other news organizations including The Christian Post that 26 people were killed last Friday in what was believed to be the deadliest attack that the CAR has witnessed in months, the total number of victims killed was six, according to Herve Verhoosel, the Director of Public Information and Communications at MINUSCA.
Armed conflict between Muslim Séléka militants and anti-Balaka Christian militias also started up on Friday in Ndomete and eventually spread to the nearby town of Kaga-Bandoro.
The U.N.'s peacekeeping mission MINUSCA, which is mandated to protect civilians and support the transition process in CAR, sent troops to the area to separate the two rival militia groups.
"[We call] on Kaga Bandoro's communities to remain calm and affirm [our] right to take appropriate measures to prevent destabilization of the situation, protect civilians in line with [our] mandate, and ensure the country's territorial integrity," MINUSCA stated in a statement on Saturday.
According to MINUSCA, about six civilians were killed as a result of the sectarian clashes between the two rival rebel groups, but added that it has stepped up patrols in the area in order to protect civilians.
"MINUSCA regrets the loss of human life and the wounded that were recorded and also denounces attacks against the humanitarian community and United Nations personnel," the MINUSCA statement reads.
According to Open Doors USA's World Watch List, CAR ranks as the 26th worst nation in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians.
Since Christians comprise about 3.1 million of the countries 4.92 million, Christianity is the predominant religion in the country. Even though the Séléka groups have largely been driven out of the country since they overthrew the government and seized power, Open Doors reports that there are still challenges that remain.
"In Bangui, a growing group of radical Muslims continues to keep a stronghold in the PK5 enclave, where they reign by terror," an Open Doors fact sheet on CAR states. "In the northeast, which is mainly populated by Muslims, Christians are forced to flee from their villages and are denied access to farming fields. Large groups of Christians live in extremely poor conditions in refugee camps."
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that 26 people were killed last Friday in what was believed to be the deadliest attack that the CAR has witnessed in months. The total number of victims killed was six, according to Herve Verhoosel, the Director of Public Information and Communications at MINUSCA.