A yearlong battle between Muslims and Christians has ended with a ceasefire agreement in Central African Republic (CAR). Muslim rebels sought to seize power in March 2013.
Since that time, Muslim Seleka rebels have fought against "anti-balaka" Christian militia for the nation to be divided into a Muslim north and a Christian south.
According to The Guardian, the French military arrived last January on a peacekeeping mission. 2,000 troops continue to patrol the streets Bambari where the mostly Muslim residents call the ceasefire “worthless” and claim the French have a bias towards Christians.
"We have signed this ceasefire agreement today in front of everyone. Our commitment is firm and irreversible" said Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane, who headed the Seleka delegation. “Patrick Edouard Ngaissona, who led the anti-balaka delegation, echoed the pledges of peace, saying anyone caught breaking the ceasefire would be arrested.”
The BBC reports that Dido Ibrahim Mahamad, a local captain in the ex-Seleka alliance, “that the only way to resolve the conflict in CAR was to partition the entire country, dividing it between Muslims and Christians.”
Both the Muslim Seleka rebels and the Christian militia have been accused of war crimes that include acts of torture and unlawful killing.
According to Human Rights Watch, CAR is a “state party to the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC), which obligates its government to cooperate in the prosecution of individuals responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. In May 2014 the interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, formally asked the ICC prosecutor to open a new investigation in the country.”
Publication date: July 25, 2014