1,300 Muslims evacuated from Bangui, others awaiting

By Sylvestre Krock, Sunday, April 27, 2014

The residents of PK5, the largest Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, hope to be next

The residents of PK5, the largest Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, hope to be next

BANGUI – Nearly 1,300 Muslims were evacuated from the PK12 district in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), to the towns of Sido and Kabo in the northwestern part of Ouham state, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

The evacuation was supervised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) despite the opposition of the Central African government.

The 1,300 Muslim residents were moved in 23 buses under heavy protection from African peacekeepers.

The district has been completely emptied of its Muslim residents, according to our correspondent.

The evacuation was followed by wide-spread looting, eyewitnesses said, without identifying the looters.

The evacuation of Muslims residents from PK12 started on April 20 with the relocation of 93 people to places in Bambari, around 400 kilometers to the north of Bangui.

The mineral-rich Central African Republic descended into anarchy one year ago when Muslim Seleka rebels ousted Christian president Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

Since last December, thousands, mostly Muslims, have been killed in sectarian bloodletting throughout the country blamed on the anti-balaka militia, which is mainly made up of Christians.

-More Awaiting-

The residents of PK5, the largest Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, hope to be relocated next.

"We live as captives here," to Haroun Gaye, a Muslim diamond trader, told AA by phone.

"Life becomes more difficult day after day," he added, describing relocation as the lesser of two evils.

Gaye said the bodies of dead Muslims have started to decay because people cannot dare to venture out to bury them in the cemetery located outside the area.

He added that Muslims who work outside the district risk their lives every day just to go to work.

"This is why we hope to be next on the list of the IOM evacuation plans," Gaye said.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency