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05/31/2019 CAR (International Christian Concern) – More than 30 people were killed in the past two weeks in continued violence in the Central African Republic, including a Catholic nun who was decapitated. Most of these people were killed near the town of Paoua near the border with Chad. It is believed that the killing was done by a group called 3R. According to a UN Spokesperson, the group had called a meeting for villages near Paoua, but then ending up killing those who showed up.

3R was one of 14 groups that signed a peace agreement in February of this year. However, with this act of violence, they have broken that agreement. Bi Sidi Souleymane, also known as Sidiki, was the leader of 3R prior to the signing of the agreement. After it, he was assigned as a special military advisor to the Prime Minister of CAR. Now he is being called on to arrest those who committed this crime, or else he will be held accountable.

Also, Sister Ines Nieves Sancho was decapitated nearly two weeks ago in the town of Nola in southwest CAR. It is unclear who committed this atrocity, but the sister had been a long time resident of that area, working with impoverished women and girls. According to the Washington Post, local authorities said that her killing might not be linked to the ongoing sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian militias, but may have been an attempt to make money.

The sectarian violence which has been ravaging the country for years began in late 2012 or early 2013 when the Muslim Seleka militia ousted then President Francois Bozize in a coup. After this, animist and Christian militias formed in towns and villages known as anti-balakas. Since then, both sides have committed equal atrocities against civilian populations. Despite this, the local church has tried to defend villagers of both the Christian and Islamic faith equally.

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