Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
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ICC Note-

Boda, a town in CAR of about 16,000 people has seen peace unlike almost anywhere else in the divided nation. CAR has been ravaged by civil war for year, ever since the Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the president in 2012. Boda, however, has been able to find a peaceful solution for the nearly even split Christian and Muslims civilians to live together. This is mostly thanks to two brave pastors who decided to try and reconcile the town.

 

2017-12-12 CAR (WorldWatchMonitor)

At the market in Boda, a mining town in the southwest of the Central African Republic, Christians and Muslims come together to purchase goods set on wooden tables along the dusty roadside.

It’s a picture of peaceful coexistence that would be unthinkable in some parts of a country that has been ripped apart by inter-religious clashes that have claimed thousands of lives since 2012.

For generations Muslims and Christians have lived side by side in Boda, a town of approximately 16,000 people. Muslims mainly work in the gold and diamond mines and live in the centre of the town, where two large mosques call them to prayer five times a day. The Christians mostly live on the outskirts of town, where those not working in the mines are farmers.

But their harmonious coexistence has been put to the test in recent years, since the arrival in 2012 of Séléka, a mostly Muslim rebel group, which took over large swathes of the country, ousting the president, François Bozizé. A number of the Muslims in Boda joined them, hoping to turn the CAR into an Islamic country.

They attacked the areas where Christians and Animists lived, murdering, plundering and destroying homes, forcing thousands to flee. Those who had joined the Muslim militias tried to make life in Boda impossible for the Christians in the hope that they would leave forever.

Meanwhile predominantly Animist ‘Anti-Balaka’ militias rose up across the country to protect the population against the Séléka attacks that were carried out with impunity. Yet they soon became guilty of the same brutality the Séléka groups had unleashed on their communities.

International forces arrived in 2014 and pushed Séléka back. In Boda, the Muslim community sheltered behind them, fearful of a backlash. At the same time, Anti-Balaka members in the town, among them local Christians and Animists, were waiting for the international forces to leave so that they could hit back against the Muslims who had done them so much harm. It was a massacre waiting to happen.

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