Scholars in Africa Warn of Genocide in Bangui

A leading Muslim organization has vigorously condemned the genocide of Muslims in Central African Republic, urging the world community to send neutral troops to stop this genocide immediately, and work to achieve security for all citizens. “The crisis in CAR has turned into genocide of Muslim citizens of CAR before the world in an accident that reminds of the genocide of Tutsi in the Republic of Rwanda which has disgraced humanity till today,” the Union of African Scholars said in a statement issued on Saturday, February 15, and obtained by “The terrible methods of these crimes including, mutilating and burning victims alive in the middle of the city and in front of the cameras, which did not save even women and children, necessitate chasing and punishing those criminals to bring them to justice,” the Union added. Over the past weeks, thousands of terrified civilian Muslims fled for their lives to escape killings, looting and harassment by armed militias drawn from the Christian majority in the city. Their flight follows months of escalating attacks on Muslims in the strife-torn republic. Going from door to door, anti-balaka Christian militias have raided Muslim homes killing children and women and looting and vandalizing properties, the UN report revealed. Commenting on CAR strive, Amnesty International issued a report last week, warning that Anti-Balaka fighters in the Central African Republic were trying to “ethnically cleanse Muslims”. The human rights organization has also accused French peacekeeping forces of failing to protect the threatened Muslim minority. Following the terrible genocide of Muslims, the Union of African Scholars has accused French troops of taking sides with Christian anti-balaka militias. “Non-neutrality of the French troops in the disarmament and the weakness of the African troops have allowed criminal militias to commit these crimes without fear,” the statement read. Scholars have also blamed the African Union of failing its responsibilities which allowed the repeat of Rwanda tragedy in the continent. Urgent Action The Union has urged an international action to save the region from the escalating threat of ethnic and religious wars. “The Union of African Scholars sends an urgent appeal to the international community; including states and organizations, to send neutral forces to stop this genocide immediately, and work to achieve security for all citizens regardless of their race or religion,” the Union’s statement read. On its part, the union decide to dedicate the following Friday (Jum`ah) prayer on February 21 in Africa and world mosques to “induce solidarity with Muslims in Central Africa and to pray for the return of peace and stability to this afflicted country,” it added. Another fundraising campaign was also urged in all states to assist internally displaced citizens as well as refugees in Chad, Cameroon and the Congo. CAR, a mineral-rich, landlocked country, descended into anarchy in March of last year when Seleka rebels ousted François Bozize, a Christian, who had come to power in a 2003 coup. Last January, Catherine Samba-Panza, the mayor of Bangui, was sworn in as CAR's first female president. She replaced Michel Djotodia, the country's first Muslim president since its independence from France in 1960, who stepped down earlier this month due to international and regional pressure. Over the past weeks, anti-balaka Christian militias have raided Muslim homes killing children and women and looting and vandalizing properties. Inter-religious violence has claimed thousands of lives and displaced a million people in the population of 4.6 million, yet such clashes are unprecedented in the poor, landlocked country. Along with killing, kidnapping, torture and arbitrary arrest and detention, in the war- torn CAR, a UN investigation found evidences of sexual violence. Two cases of cannibalism have been reported too, one of which appeared on the BBC, showing a Christian man chewing the flesh of a Muslim driver killed by Christian mobs.