AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - An attack against a peace concert in the Muslim area relights tensions in Bangui

Monday, 13 November 2017 violence   terrorism   dialogue  

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Four dead and about twenty injured is the toll of the explosive attack against a coffee bar on November 11 in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.
Some strangers threw an explosive weapon (probably a hand bomb) against the Au-carrefour de la Paix bar, while the singer Ozaguin, who is a celebrity in Central Africa, was performing.
The coffee bar is located in the PK5 neighborhood, mostly inhabited by Muslims, but Muslims and Christians were present at the concert. The event had been organized by young Christians and Muslims with the aim of bringing together the two communities divided by hatred and resentment because of the civil war which broke out in 2012, when the Seleka rebels, largely Muslims, besieged Bangui, expelling former President François Bozizé.
After the attack, the retaliation of the PK5 population exploded that caused at least three victims, among Christians who had gone to the Muslim district to make their purchases. In turn, some young Christians attacked the Muslim drivers of motor-taxi that go to their neighborhoods.
"We still do not understand who committed this attack and why", local Church sources say to Agenzia Fides. "The situation remains very tense. Neighborhoods in the PK5 area have been emptied again, as in the days of civil war, and those who remained have built barricades to protect their homes and shops", say Fides sources, confirming that "some young Christians who went to the KM5 to buy goods for their stores were stabbed and killed".
Prime Minister Simpli-Mathieu Sarandji strongly condemned "this criminal act" that hit both Muslim and Christian families, and re-emphasized the inter-communal tensions in Bangui, which had so far been spared by the violence that upsets other parts of the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 13/11/2017)