AFRICA – Central African Republic: Dozens feared dead after massacre in Bria

World Watch Monitor | Sept. 17, 2018

IPDs waiting for food in CAR’s north-western town of Bozoum. Oct 2017. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

In Central African Republic, dozens of people are feared killed after suspected Islamist rebels attacked a group of civilians in the central town of Bria earlier this month.

Early reports suggested that between 12 to 14 people were killed during the attack on 4-5 September, but local sources contacted by World Watch Monitor said as many as 42 were killed, as details about the attacks are now emerging.

The massacre took place over two days, and it was a further two days until some youths were able to access the area to recover a dozen bodies.

“We received information that they had been killed, but no-one had the courage to immediately go and look for their bodies. It was only two days later [on 7 September] that some youths went and retrieved the corpses,” the source explained. “They brought them here and laid them in front of the MINUSCA (UN peacekeepers) office in the camp. They have since been buried.”

Other sources told World Watch Monitor that the victims were mainly women who were hacked to death while returning from farms to PK3, the predominantly Christian quarter of the town, to sell their farm products. Some of the victims also lived there, in PK3, the largest internally displaced persons (IDP) site in the Central African Republic, with an estimated 100,000 people, 80,000 of whom are IDPs, according to the UN.

Some of the victims had gunshot wounds, while others died of machete wounds. At least one of the women was pregnant. “All those women slaughtered! It is terrible,” lamented Gedeon, who lives in the IDP camp. “The situation is very tense here. Although it is relatively calm right now, there no movement, nothing.”

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