CAR rebels destroy Churches and houses

The Vatican FIDES News Agency reports that further violence is being visited on the Catholic Church in the Central African Republic following the overthrow of President François Bozizé.

According to information sent to Fides on 18 August last, priests and members of the Sisters of Charity were forced to flee Bohong and travel 80kms to Bouar because of the violent reprisals of the rebel coalition Seleka.

Some young local hunters, tired of the constant harassment of the rebels who seized power by ousting former President François Bozizé, killed 4 Seleka members including a colonel on August 16. “The straw that broke the camel’s back – according to Fides – was the arrest, for no reason, of a young man who repaired bicycles and that of a tobacco seller”. Shortly after Some Seleka rebels backed by reinforcements from nearby locations invaded the town shooting on the streets. The following day “a group of young Seleka men, accompanied by some young Muslims of Bohong, went to the parish house, broke down the door and ransacked the house. Immediately after they looted the nun’s house”.

“It is difficult to know the number of deaths and injuries both among the population and members of Seleka” according to those reporting to Fides, who wish to remain anonymous for reasons of safety.

On Sunday, August 18, a convoy sent by the Diocese of Bouar managed to rescue the priests and nuns. “We found out that the next day when the priests and nuns left, Seleka men returned to ransack the parish house and the convent, they burned the hut and thatched houses used for catechism, they desecrated the church and ransacked the sacristy, and took a vehicle belonging to Don Michel. Reprisals are likely to last for a long time”, conclude our sources. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/08/2013)

Information about the SMA in the Central African Republic