Victory tastes bitter in the Central African Republic. While the Central African armed forces, supported by the UN, Rwandan soldiers and Russian mercenaries, take over in turn the towns that fell in December into the hands of rebels from the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC, made up of six of the most powerful armed groups in CAR), civilians are not spared.
The latest tragedy is the death of 14 people at a religious site in the town of Bambari, in the center of the country. According to Amnesty International, these people were killed on February 16 as pro-government forces clashed with the CPC to liberate the city.
After analyzing various images of the killing, Amnesty claims that they “Show the bodies of people allegedly killed on the same day. A total of 14 corpses are visible on the ground, most of them partially or fully covered with tissue. For the visible parts, the people were not wearing military uniforms. “ This city has been the scene of repeated clashes and abuses since the ex-Seleka (the predominantly Muslim northern rebellion) seized it in December 2012. Inter-communal violence took an even more tragic turn from May 2014: religious sites where civilians take refuge are no longer spared.
A phenomenon that can be found at the level of the region and the country. Even in the capital, Bangui: we can no longer count the number of mosques and Christian sites attacked on several occasions, even razed. As for Catholics, it is undoubtedly the parish of Fatima that has suffered the most in the capital. And it is the site of the displaced persons of the bishopric of Alindao, in the south-east of the country, which was the most cruelly affected with no less than 48 people killed including a priest, for the single day of November 15, 2018. .
Bambari was not the only town liberated by pro-government forces. In the West, they also took over Boda, Boali, Bossembélé, Bossemptélé, Yaloké and Beloko. So that the supply axis between Bangui and Cameroon is once again open.
In the South-East, Bangassou was released from the CPC at the beginning of January. And on Wednesday February 24, the government announced that it had driven the rebels out of Bossangoa: the stronghold of former President François Bozizé, suspected of being linked to the CPC. If the victories are numerous, the toll of military and civilian losses since mid-December remains unknown or confidential. However, Amnesty estimates that the fighting in recent weeks has resulted in the displacement of at least 240,000 people inside CAR.