The President of CAR’s Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Nicolas Guerekoyame-Gbangou, was targeted in an attack apparently triggered by the death of a young Muslim motorbike taxi driver. His body was found in the predominantly Christian 5th district on Saturday, 26 September, then taken to a mosque in the 3rd district, known also as Km5 – formerly considered by many as a stronghold of Séléka rebels, and a "no-go zone" for all non-Muslims.
Who killed the young taxi-driver and why are still unknown.
At about 9am on Saturday, angry Muslim youths left the 3rd district and poured into the 5th district, brandishing automatic weapons, machetes, and raiding and destroying properties.
They entered the Elim Church compound, where Rev. Guerekoyame-Gbangou’s house is located, asking for him.
"I left the compound at about 8.30. But some 30 minutes later, a group of young Muslims arrived at my house," Rev. Guerekoyame-Gbangou told World Watch Monitor.
"The assailants asked for ‘pastor Nicolas, who is pro-peace … but who always attacks us’. But they learned that I had already left the house.
"They then told my family to leave the property. One of the assailants brandished a knife and threated to kill my older son, but another assailant prevented him from doing it."
The angry mob then looted all valuable items, before setting fire to the house. The assailants also ransacked other buildings in the compound, setting fire to them, and shooting randomly.
"Unfortunately they killed two people before leaving the compound", said Rev. Guerekoyame-Gbangou. "The victims, who had their throats cut, were displaced people who had sought refuge within our compound."
Rev. Guerekoyame-Gbangou’s family was unharmed and has moved to an undisclosed safe place.
Three dramatic days