Central African Republic – violence continues

Re posted from                                 PressTV

Bangui residents witness more violence

Mon Nov 2, 2015 7:5PM

This image shows refugees who fled from their homes following the recent violence in the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, on October 6, 2015. (AFP Photo)

This image shows refugees who fled from their homes following the recent violence in the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, on October 6, 2015. (AFP Photo)

Tensions remain high in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, as a cycle of violence continues that could further delay already postponed elections, and prevent a visit this month by the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis.

Eyewitnesses said hundreds of people were fleeing from their homes in Bangui on Monday as sporadic gunfire could still be heard around the PK5 Muslim neighborhood in the capital after a weekend rife with violence left more than a dozen casualties.

At least three people were killed and over a hundred houses burned in Bangui on Sunday.

On Saturday, at least two people were killed and several injured during the clashes provoked by the assassination last Thursday of four Muslims in the southern districts.

The latest clashes have been taking place around the PK5 Muslim neighborhood, which has been besieged by Christian Anti-Balaka militias, assisted by elements of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA), AFP reported.

The violence is part of a pattern in which at least 90 people have been killed since late September, when a Muslim man was murdered.

A United Nations peacekeeper in the Central African Republic on patrol in a Muslim district of Bangui, on October 3, 2015. (AFP Photo)

 

The violence in CAR first began after Seleka rebels seized power in a coup in 2013, prompting brutal reprisal attacks by the Christian militias.

Nearly 400,000 people have fled to refugee camps during the conflict, and an additional 440,000 have sought peace in neighboring countries, according to an October report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

UN peacekeepers have been stationed in Bangui’s PK5 since last year to restore law and order after tens of thousands of Muslims were driven out of their homes in the capital by anti-Balaka militias.

Authorities delayed presidential and parliamentary elections, in part because of the unrest, to December 13, and they may be pushed back yet further if the spike in violence persists.

The Catholics’ leader is due to visit Bangui on November 28-29 and go to a mosque in one of the most dangerous neighborhood, but he hinted in an address on Sunday that the violence might force him to cancel his trip.

The latest violence comes as a peace deal had been signed in May between 10 armed groups in the country requiring them to lay down their weapons