Chaos still reigning in the CAR; should someone step in?

By April 18, 2013

CAR (MNN) — What do you think of when you hear the words, "phantom state?" If Central African Republic comes to mind, you're right on the money.

Last month, Seleka rebels took the capital city of Bangui, overtaking the government and turning the entire nation upside-down and sideways. Looting is commonplace, at least 119 people have died since March 24, and roughly 37,000 people have fled to neighboring countries.

ICDI, a partner ministry of both HCJB Global and Living Water International (LWI) in the CAR, lost about $300,000 of valuable equipment when thieves ransacked their headquarters.

ICDI's CEO Jim Hocking says it's been 3 weeks since the coup, and the country's still not safe.

"The crisis is actually increasing on a daily basis," Hocking says. "This is kind of when you wonder if… some world organization shouldn't come in and gain control."

Yesterday, United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon echoed those sentiments in separate addresses.

"The current state of lawlessness, verging on anarchy, must not be allowed to continue," said Pillay. "The rule of law must be restored and perpetrators of abuses held accountable."

The Secretary-General is calling on the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union (AU) to take "immediate and urgent measures to address the gravity of the security situation" in the CAR.

Hocking questions what authorities will find if and when they do take action.

"'Where will the people be at that point?' is the critical question," he states.

According to U.N. estimates, 1.2 million people have been cut off from essential services since the Seleka coalition launched an offensive in December. At least 4.1 million people–almost half of which are kids–are directly affected by the crisis.

That includes a half-million people who depend on LWI wells for clean water. Because of the unrest, ICDI staff in the CAR can't maintain these wells.

"Across the board, human life is becoming more and more fragile to maintain," says Hocking.

ICDI needs funding to support CAR staff and families until things calm down. Can you help? Click here.

"No matter where you are, there's always somebody that's suffering more than you are," Hocking says. "Can we reach out and help them?"

Pray that ICDI staff and Christ-followers in the CAR will use this time to share the hope of Christ.

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