Tensions remain high in Bangui as Chadians flee CAR
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 01:30
Jan. 22 - Armed civilians are protesting the presence of Muslim Seleka fighters in parts of the Central African Republic's capital. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Chaos is simmering in the Central African Republic.
Carrying knives and machetes, residents of Bangui are protesting the presence of Muslim Seleka fighters in a nearby army barracks.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER CORPORAL IN THE DISBANDED CENTRAL AFRICAN ARMY (ARMED FORCES OF CENTRAL AFRICA - FACA), BERNARD DESIRE MARIANO, SAYING:
"They have come to attack us since last night and all the way up until now. We don't know where we will be living next, or where we can go to sit down in peace. This is our country. If we leave our country where will we go? We are like tenants in our own home."
Residents want the French and African peacekeepers to make the Seleka leave.
The ongoing sectarian violence that started last March escalated in December.
More than 2,000 people have been killed.
Now neighboring Chad is evacuating thousands of its civilians from Bangui.
About 30 military trucks lined up on a main road as Chadians loaded their belongings onto vehicles.
Most of them said they would never come back.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) CHADIAN NATIONAL BORN IN BANGUI, AZOURE IBRAHIM FATHI, SAYING:
"We were abandoned by the French Sangaris security operation, and by the African Union mission too, so why come back? We thought that the resignation of the president would sort out all these problems, but the problem has become a problem of denominations. Only four days ago they burnt some Muslim people in front of the Sangaris. What for? That's why we prefer to leave and go and live in Chad."
The predominantly Muslim Chadians have been accused of supporting Muslim Seleka rebels in fighting against the Christian anti-Balaka militia.
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