In July 2014, a ceasefire was signed between the two main warring groups in the Central African Republic: a predominantly Muslim rebel coalition known as Séléka, and violent vigilante groups opposing their advance, which became known as the “anti-Balaka” (“Balaka” means “machete”).
Former members of the now-disbanded Séléka rebel movement, together with some of the local Muslim population (mainly of Chadian and Sudanese migrant descent and Fulani Mbororo herdsmen), continue to dominate the north and east of the country.
On Monday (3 August), the Baptist Church Centre (UFEB) in Kaga Bandoro was set on fire at about 3 a.m. At the time of writing, the arsonist(s) had not been identified.
The day before, two clerics were attacked by armed men, believed to be Fulani herdsmen. Mgr. Edouard Mathos, Bishop of Bambari, accompanied by Father Sylvain Mapouka, were on a pastoral visit when they were stopped by heavily armed men about 25 km from Bria. The attackers robbed them of all their belongings: telephones, bank cards and even gifts they were taking to a celebration.