Muslim rebels from the former Seleka group have slaughtered 26 Christian villagers in the Central African Republic on Friday, September 16.
The rebels attacked the village of Ndomete, about 220 miles north of the capital city of Bangui, at 8 p.m. and went door-to-door killing Christians, a source in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo told Morning Star News.
In the last year, there have been increased clashes between the now-disbanded Seleka and the Christian “anti-Balaka” militias. Officials from the CAR government and the United Nations said the attack in Ndomete targeted civilians. A local Christian leader has expressed doubt in the country’s ability to bring order despite efforts to dampen the violence in the area.
“If the government is not going to beef up the security, then we are going to defend ourselves,” the local leader said. “We shall not keep quiet as our brothers are dying.”
Hostility between Muslims and Christians worsened in 2013, when Seleka deposed then-President Francois Bozize and installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim. Djotodia announced the disbanding of Seleka in September 2013, but the rebels have since rampaged throughout the country, killing Christians and political enemies, leading to the formation of Christian militias to counter them.
Human Rights Watch has documented executions, rape and looting by ex-Seleka fighters. On May 28, 2014, rebels killed 11 people in a grenade and shooting attack at the Church of Fatima in Bangui.
When President Faustin-Archange Touadéra (former prime minister) was elected in February, people became hopeful that the political and religious clashes would end. Unfortunately, the rebel and militia fighters are still moving outside the capital.