Pastor and Son Latest Victims of Central African Republic Violence

Thursday, February 6, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (Worthy News)-- A Central African Republic pastor and his son were killed Tuesday at their home in Bangui as sectarian violence raged in the suburbs of the city, according to Christian Today news.

The treasurer of the Union des Eglises Baptistes, Pastor Kongbo and his son were killed by disbanded Séléka Islamic militans who have been fighting a coalition of Christian counterinsurgents in the northern outskirts of Bangui since January.

CAR has been beset by sectarian warfare since March when a coalition of rebel groups led by Michel Djotodia under Séléka ousted President Francois Bozizé in a coup.

Although Séléka was officially disbanded last September, its members have continued raping, looting and murdering non-Muslims, resulting in the formation of the anti-Balaka opposing faction. Violence between these two sectarian factions has resulted in the deaths of thousands while leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Although French troops are trying to restore peace, many Christians have been compelled to seek refuge in churches.

Christian and Muslim leaders have unsuccessfully tried to assure the international community that the conflict in CAR is not -- as has been widely reported -- a religious war, but a struggle stemming from a "legacy of neglect, economic marginalisation and political exploitation".

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay implored the international community to strengthen its peacekeeping efforts in CAR as many lives were still at stake.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council extended the UN peace mandate, adding travel bans to an arms embargo already in place; it also unanimously authorized the deployment of EU troops to help stem the deteriorating security situation in the republic.