The Central African Republic is at risk of lapsing into genocide, the Unitied Nations Security Council was told on Friday. “This will end with Christian communities, Muslim communities killing each other, which means that if we don’t act now and decisively I will not exclude the possibility of a genocide occurring,” Adama Dieng, U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide, told the 15-member council. France and Rwanda called the special meeting.
A coalition of rebel groups under the Séléka banner forced out the Central African Republic’s president in March. Since then, the Islamist-dominated rebels have attacked churches, killed pastors, raped nuns and forced thousands of Christians to flee their towns. Law enforcement has essentially vanished.
“More and more you have inter-sectarian violence because the Séléka targeted the churches and the Christians, so now the Christians have created self-defense militias and they are retaliating against the Muslims,” French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said after the meeting.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has a Nov. 10 deadline to issue a report on the feasibility of sending a UN peacekeeping force to the Central African Republic.