“The silence of the international community is like they are accomplices allowing this to happen…” – Father Frédéric Tonfio, Catholic priest
From sources as diverse as the BBC, The Guardian, Walid Shoebat and Human Rights Watch, Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) are facing a near genocide at the hands of Islamic terrorists, many of them from neighboring Jihadi strongholds of Chad and The Sudan.
Yet reports are leaking out of the landlocked nation that ragtag groups of Christian men and boys are forming self-defense militias against the Jihadists.
Officially known as Seleka, meaning “Alliance” in the local tongue, the terrorists have been incorporated into the Muslim controlled national army.
Muslims constitute only 15 % of the population in this majority Catholic country, but control the masses through sheer terror due in large part to they being the only ones with access to the nation’s armories.
Since the toppling of the rightful ruler President François Bozizé, that’s when the Seleka started the public executions, to include beheadings, started against the Christians.
One of the more savage terror attacks reported was when Christian hostages were bound hand and foot then thrown into a river to be eaten alive by crocodiles.
While thousands of terrorists flood into the CAR from various Muslim nations, the CAR’s French formal colonial rulers warned last Thursday that the Christians now stand “on the verge of genocide.“
Naming themselves after the Muslim gangs favorite edged weapon for massacring Christians, the volunteers have named themselves the Anti-Balaka (Anti-Machete) Militia.
From all accounts, the Christian militias lack central command and control, professional training or anything even remotely close to qualifying as modern weaponry.
Armed with old shotguns, farm tools and homemade swords, members of the Anti-Balaka Militia have made it clear they have no choice but to take a stand to protect the weak and vulnerable. The Muslim on Christian violence has been so pronounced, the Anti-Balaka Militia experienced a flood of volunteers eager for pay back.
As one anonymous militiaman stated:
“I want to become a rebel and kill members of Seleka. We suffered too much.
Muslims are our enemies.”
As another fighter who was identified only as a leader in the Christian militia stated:
“The anti-Balaka are exclusively Christian, and our aim is to liberate the Christian population from the yoke of the Muslims.
We are not a rebel group, our fight is only against the Seleka and to protect the population from them.
We are the youth, organized by ourselves in self-defense.”
Upwards of 35,000 Christians have sought refuge on the grounds of the Catholic Mission in the embattled town of Bossangoa, one refugee identified himself with a false name of Papa Romeo echoed the widely held sentiment:
“We have never seen religions tensions like this in the CAR before. The CAR is not a Muslim country; it is a Christian country.
We have never seen so many Muslims in the country before. They have come from other countries.”
Reportedly, almost half a million people have become refugees in a nation that numbers six and a half million.
As the man in charge of the city’s Catholic Mission, Father Frédéric Tonfio plead the international community for rescue:
“I have only been able to count on my colleagues in the Church. The silence of the international community is like they are accomplices allowing this to happen.
It’s almost as if the Sekela is stronger than the international community. Everyone knows what is going on here.
Every day that we delay, more people die.”