Two pastors in the Central African republic have been killed, along with more than 100 civilians, by members of Seleka, a radical Islamic coalition force that over through the Central African government in March of last year, and that maintained power until being ousted in December. The massacre follows United Nations peacekeepers taking over responsibility for the country from African Union forces that attempted—unsuccessfully—to manage the crisis for 9 months.
09/18/2014 Central African Republic (World Watch Monitor) – The UN has taken over peacekeeping in CAR amidst an upsurge of violence which has left scores dead, including two pastors.
Pastors Thomas Ouanam, 60, and Pierre Bapteme, 46, were killed in two separate attacks nearly a week apart, attributed to Seleka rebels.
Ouanam, of the Evangelical Church of Brethren, was killed Sept. 2, when armed men stormed the northern town of Nana Bakassa. The attackers arrived on motorbikes, and for about five hours they looted properties before leaving the town, local sources told World Watch Monitor. Three other people were killed while others took refuge in the bush or in surrounding towns such as Bossangoa. Ouanam is survived by a wife and 4 children.
In the second attack, on Sept. 8, Bapteme, a deacon and three choir members were shot dead in the compound of Elim Church, at Ngakogbo, 70 kilometres from Bambari, which was engulfed by deadly clashes in July and August.
Bapteme leaves behind a wife and four children.
More than 100 people were killed – some by gunfire and others by machetes — in the attack, which sent terrorized villagers fleeing into the bush in search of safety.