AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - Violence of the Seleka rebels continues against civilians, a missionary denounces

Friday, 9 August 2013

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) – Violence against civilians committed by the rebel coalition Seleka continues in the Central African Republic. As reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Aurelio Gazzera, more than a thousand people have arrived in Bozoum (a town of 25 000 inhabitants 400 km from the capital, Bangui), fleeing from their villages.
The villages in question (Bossa, Bódalo, Kemo, Ouham Bac and Bowe) are situated between 65 and 120 km from Bozoum. According to the note sent to Fides, on July 25, members of Seleka from Bossangoa arrived in Bossa, in search of the mayor. The population took refuge in the forest. After an initial looting, the rebels apparently had withdrawn, but returned at around 11 at night to carry out a systematic looting house by house. The rebel raid resulted in the death of an adult and a child of just 5 months old. The rebels also took six hostages, and led them to Ouham Bac. 6 of the two hostages were killed (among them was the son of the vice-mayor), another was injured and yet another was severely beaten
According to the last census in Bódalo there are 848 inhabitants; 1314 in Bossa; 568 in Ouham Bac; 358 in Bowe; while for Kemo Fr. Aurelio did not find any data.
Fr. Aurelio has been a Carmelite missionary in Central Africa since 1992, who since 2003 has been working in Bozoum. (L.M) (Agenzia Fides 09/08/2013)