JNN 08 Dec 2013 Bangui (Central African Republic) – Christian Vigilantes hacked 12 civilians to death north of Bangui as communal tensions rose ahead of a UN vote authorising force to stop the Central African Republic’s descent into chaos.
On the eve of the expected adoption by the UN Security Council of a resolution giving French and African troops the go-ahead, a military source said Wednesday that Christian militiamen had attacked Muslim herders.
“Among the victims were children and a disembowelled pregnant woman,” the source told AFP, adding that at least 10 other children were hospitalised in Bangui with deep gashes.
A nurse there said: “It’s not uncommon to see people with machete wounds. But so many at a time? We’ve never seen anything like this in Central Africa before.”
The attack took place late on Monday when Christian militants known as “anti-balaka” attacked herders from the Peuhl ethnic group, which is made up mainly of Muslims, Amy Martin, the head of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) in Bangui, told Reuters news agency.
The government said the attack took place in Boali, about 95 km from the capital.
The massacre of 12 Muslim women, children and men by Christian terrorists highlighted the need for “urgent” action.
The United States expressed shock over the attack.
“The United States is appalled by today’s reports of the murder of innocent women and children outside of Bangui,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
“This horrifying account is the latest in a string of reports that illustrate the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) that could lead to an escalation in violence and further atrocities.”
The attack took place late Monday near Boali, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of the capital, and the victims were all from the semi-nomadic Fula tribe.
Central Africa is surrounded by several other chronically unstable countries and has struggled with a series of coups and rebel uprisings since gaining its independence in 1960.
Its soil holds great mineral wealth but it has remained largely untapped and its nearly half of its population of 4.5 million needs assistance.