Bangui mosque looted and destroyed after Muslim exodus

30th May 2014

Bangui mosque looted after Muslim exodus

Elham Asaad Buaras

Christian gangs looted a mosque in the Central African Republic (CAR) after some of the last remaining besieged Muslims in the capital were escorted out of the city by African and French peacekeepers on April 27.

Peacekeepers escorted some 1,300 Muslims, trapped for months in their neighbourhood by violent Christian militants. The convoy departed at dawn, not long after men prayed in the mosque for the last time.

Peacekeepers stood by as Christians, some armed with machetes and bows and arrows, swarmed into and picked apart houses in Bangui’s northern PK12 neighbourhood, which had been a Muslim stronghold in the majority Christian south.

Christians descended on the mosque stripping it clean from metal roofs, carpet to its loudspeaker and the ceiling fan blades they also scrawled Youth Centre in marker across the front of the mosque.

Others used brooms to sweep dirt from the ground in front of the building, shouting: “We have cleaned Central African Republic of the Muslims!”

The exodus further partitions the country, a process that has been under way since January, when a Muslim led Government gave up power nearly a year after overthrowing the president of a decade.

The UN has described the forced displacement of tens of thousands of Muslims as ethnic cleansing.The long-chaotic country’s political crisis has prompted fears of genocide since it intensified in December when Christian militants stormed the capital in an attempt to overthrow the Government.

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