Mass grave found in Central African Republic, U.N. warns of 'cleansing'

BANGUI Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:51am EST

A Democratic Republic of the Congo soldier, part of an African peacekeeping force, patrols along a street in Bangui, February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

A Democratic Republic of the Congo soldier, part of an African peacekeeping force, patrols along a street in Bangui, February 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Luc Gnago

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BANGUI (Reuters) - African Union peacekeepers on Wednesday uncovered a mass grave at a military camp in Bangui occupied by the Muslim Seleka rebels, as a top U.N. official warned Central African Republic was succumbing to "ethnic-religious cleansing".

A Reuters witness saw four separate shallow graves containing at least a dozen bodies at the military camp in the 200 Villas neighborhood of central Bangui, where some Seleka fighters are still stationed.

Pastor Antoine Mboa Bogo, head of the local Red Cross, confirmed there was a mass grave at the camp but said his staff had not yet had time to determine the number of dead.

"We need to send in a team with the proper equipment tomorrow to examine it," he said.

On a visit to Bangui, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called for a massive deployment of international peacekeepers to restore stability in a country gripped by violence since March, when Seleka seized power.

Months of looting, rape and murder followed, bringing international pressure that saw Seleka leader Michel Djotodia resign in January. Since then, Christian militia have carried out systematic attacks on Muslims, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the country.

"We are witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe in Central African Republic," Guterres told reporters. "There is an ethnic-religious cleansing taking place."

(Reporting by Serge Leger Kokpakpa; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Bate Felix)

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Comments (3)
dualcitizen wrote:
Don’t mention that this is after muslims had seized the govt. and subjected Christians to all kinds of brutality, now the Christians are throwing them out and you think muslims are the victims? Unbelievable, what part of muslims want to kill everyone who is not a muslim do you not get?

Feb 12, 2014 9:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
regan4000 wrote:

All religion is nonsense. All religion is selfish and corrupting. What part about Christian brainwashing do you not get? Muslims, Christians, you’re all brainwashed into believing that you are the only true religion.

Feb 12, 2014 10:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
dualcitizen wrote:
@regan4000. Wow, I did not realize that all religion is nonsense, selfish, and corrupting. Thank you so much for making that statement which therefore must automatically be fact. So, all people who are not religious are arrogant, pretentious, simple-minded jerks. See how that works? DUH.

Feb 12, 2014 12:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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