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Central African Republic: another Rwanda?

By January 17, 2014
A staggering 60% of the population of the city of Bangui are displaced from their homes, living in makeshift refugee camps.  (Image, caption courtesy Water for Good)

A staggering 60% of the population of the
city of Bangui are displaced from their homes, living in makeshift refugee camps.
(Image, caption courtesy Water for Good)

Central African Republic (MNN) — Central African Republic is becoming another Rwanda if international parties don’t intervene, says a senior U.N. official. UN humanitarian operations director John Ging just returned from a five-day visit to CAR.

“It has all the elements that we have seen elsewhere, in places like Rwanda and Bosnia,” said Ging yesterday. “The elements are there, the seeds are there, for a genocide. There’s no question about that.”

Over 1,000 people have died, and some 2.6 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. CAR’s violent downward spiral began last year when Islamic Seleka rebels seized control of the country.

Though Seleka ally and former-president Michael Djotodia formerly disbanded the group, their violent attacks against Christians continued. As a result, militant Christian “Anti-Balaka” groups formed and targeted Muslim populations for revenge killings.

A few days ago, sectarian violence hit Living Water International and in-country partner, Water for Good, close to home.

Listen to the complete report here.

“This man just witnessed the killing of four of the five converts, male converts that he had there in his village,” shares Water for Good’s Jim Hocking.

He’s referring to a friend and partner of Water for Good, Pastor Ibrahim Abakar, who’s sharing the Gospel with Fulani Muslims. The Fulani are a historically nomadic people group, but Pastor Abakar has planted two churches so far.

Abakar watched helplessly as rebels took his friends, home, and church. But when he told Hocking this story over the phone, Abakar’s focus wasn’t on himself.

“His main concern was that they burned all of the tracts that he had, and he said, ‘I really need more tracts…. There are people who still need Jesus,'” recounts Hocking.

“It’s a very sad time for us, but it’s a time to rejoice in the fact that this man is still motivated to reach out to people.”

Formerly known as ICDI, Water for Good’s work in CAR primarily focuses on sustainable community development. As LWI’s in-country representative, Water for Good drills and maintains clean water wells throughout the nation. This allows them to share the Living Water of Jesus Christ, too.

Water for Good teams recently dug latrines for refugees at the airport.  (Image courtesy Water for Good)

Water for Good teams recently dug latrines
for refugees at the airport.
(Image courtesy Water for Good)

Given the current situation in CAR, Hocking says their projects are putting more emphasis on relief efforts. They recently dug desperately-needed latrines for over 100,000 displaced people living near the Bangui airport.

Can you join Water for Good, LWI, and the people of CAR in prayer?

“Pray for our teams, that they will…help people realize that there is hope. The hope isn’t in the government, but the hope is in Jesus Christ,” Hocking requests.

Pray also for CAR’s transitional national council. They’ve agreed on the criteria for an interim leader, and voting is set to take place on Monday.

Find more tangible ways to help here.

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