UN denies complicity in Central African Republic massacres, but questions remain

UN denies complicity in Central African Republic massacres, but questions remain
The UN has rejected allegations of complicity with armed groups in a string of massacres last year in the Central African Republic. A UN Special Investigation team, led by Brigadier General (rtd) Fernand Amoussou and including legal, political and human-rights experts, looked into attacks between 1 May and 31 August . . . Read More

US State Department adds Pakistan to religious-freedom watch list

Burial of victims of a suicide attack on the Methodist Bethel Church in Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday 17 December in which at least 9 people were killed. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The US State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for severe violators of religious freedom, it announced yesterday (4 January) with the publication of its annual list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’. The announcement comes as the US government cuts security aid to Pakistan, saying the country . . . Read More

CAR’s religious leaders ‘must be empowered’ to restore peace

CAR’s religious leaders ‘must be empowered’ to restore peace
Delegates at an international conference in Senegal called on the international community to do more to strengthen the role of religious leaders in peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic. The conference, which was held in Dakar from 8-11 December, was organised by the International Dialogue Centre, the Network . . . Read More

CAR Christians and Muslims risk crossing ‘red line’ to establish peace

CAR Christians and Muslims risk crossing ‘red line’ to establish peace
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 . . . Read More

CAR: ‘They wanted to silence the preacher who converts Muslims to Christianity’

The Central Mosque of Bangui in the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of PK5. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Four years ago today, an eruption of violence in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, left dozens dead and shattered the lives of many others. An attempt by Anti-Balaka (“anti-machete”) vigilantes to oust rebel leader Michel Djotodia, who had swept across the country into the capital to proclaim . . . Read More

Central African Republic IDPs angry at UN failure to protect them

Central African Republic IDPs angry at UN failure to protect them
When armed men attacked the north-western town of Bocaranga in the Central African Republic in September, thousands fled, including women and children. Madeleine, nine, was among them. She didn’t think of taking a toy; instead, she strapped her 15-month-old baby sister Cesare on her back and ran. With others, she . . . Read More

Central African Republic: where government rule only runs in the capital

Central African Republic: where government rule only runs in the capital
I’m just back from a visit to the Central African Republic (CAR) – where there is a sense of emergency again. Security has dramatically deteriorated across the country: President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has failed to establish his authority beyond the capital, Bangui, 18 months after his election. To my surprise, I . . . Read More

UN chief visits CAR, where lack of aid is leading to starving children

UN chief visits CAR, where lack of aid is leading to starving children
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in the Central African Republic (CAR) to draw attention to the world’s “forgotten crisis” and its heavy toll on aid workers and UN peacekeepers. The visit is happening a week after the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the country told media that the deteriorating security situation . . . Read More