Bangui Muslims thank African peacekeepers

Muslims living in the capital Bangui are showering praise on African peacekeepers for saving their lives.

Bangui Muslims thank African peacekeepers
World Bulletin / News Desk
Muslims living in Bangui, the blood-stained capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), are showering praise on African peacekeepers – particularly those from Rwanda, Burundi and Cameroon – for saving their lives, while scoffing at their French counterparts.

"Rwandan, Burundian and Cameroonian troops have saved the lives of many Muslims who would have otherwise been lynched by angry Christian mobs in Bangui," Abdulaye Tijani, a resident of Kilometer 5, a predominantly Muslim district of Bangui, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the three African peacekeeping contingents generally reacted decisively to mob attacks on vulnerable Muslims.

Late Sunday, two Muslims were lynched by a mob of angry Christians in Bangui before the Rwandan contingent of African peacekeeping force MISCA intervened to save the others.

"We're here to protect both Muslims and Christians," Colonel Karangwa Jean Paul, commander of MISCA's Rwandan contingent, told AA at the scene.

"We can't allow killings to happen in front of us."

Zainab Mahamat, a Muslim woman who has fled her home in Bangui's Miskine neighborhood and is now living at a refugee camp near the airport, agrees with Tijani.

"If it weren't for the Burundian troops, I would be dead today, along with my family," she told AA.

She said that Burundian troops had responded swiftly when Christian mobs began looting Muslim homes in the area. 

"They escorted us out of the area," she recounted. "I'm very grateful to them."

MISCA has nearly 6,000 peacekeepers in the landlocked country, which descended into anarchy and tit-for-tat sectarian bloodletting since last March.

French onlookers

Tijani said that French troops usually stood by and watched as Christian mobs lynched Muslims and burnt their lifeless bodies.

"On several occasions, French, Congolese and other peacekeepers just stood and watched – without trying to disperse the crowds – as Muslims were killed by mobs," he said bitterly.

Last week, no sooner had interim president Catherine Samba-Panza left after a ceremony to welcome back army deserters than hundreds of army personnel dragged a civilian from the crowd and lynched him on suspicion that he was a former seleka fighter.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, recently witnessed the killing of two Muslim men and the mutilation of their bodies near Bangui airport.

"The French soldiers were there, just sitting meters away, and didn't stop this horrific mutilation from taking place," he told the BBC at the time.

"The soldiers were heavily armed; they could have easily parked one of their armored cars next to these two bodies, which were about 50 meters apart, and stood by them until the Red Cross came to collect them," he said.

"But instead," Bouckaert asserted, "they checked out the scene then got back in their cars and drove away."

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2014, 15:52
Add Comment
Pierre - 7 yıl Before

The CAR people should understand. The peace are in their hand. reveanger call revenger. They have to stop killing each other. African care about other african, You are our brother that what we got from our education. French teach their kids that african are primutive creation so killing each other it is a way of living.Frenchthey are there to protect french interest and influence.Thanks to Rwandan, Burundian and Cameroon troops!

Kays - 7 yıl Before

It's the shame on French troops, they only observe the killings happen and report, they don't care, they are useless sitting there and yet they money is being deposited in their pockets, Africans wake up. Killings solve nothing but destroying yourself.