Peace is needed

By December 2, 2013
(Photo courtesy Flickr/UNHCR)

(Photo courtesy Flickr/UNHCR)

Central African Republic (ODM/MNN) — As violence rages on, a BBC News article states, “Central African Republic has been in turmoil since rebels seized power in March, with warnings of a possible genocide.” The rebels are made up of armed gangs, mercenaries from neighboring countries, and former Seleka rebels.

The Africa director with Open Doors says: “We remain concerned over Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union’s (AU) reluctance to ask for help from the United Nations (UN) in restoring order to Central African Republic (CAR). We support the Church in CAR in asking for the deployment of at least 10,000 troops under the authority of the UN. We call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members to vote in favor of this deployment and thus prevent the genocidal interfaith war Christian leaders have warned the international community about in the Bangui Declaration.”

Renewed violence in the capital Bangui has highlighted once more the urgent need for a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation (PKO) in the war-torn Central African Republic (CAR). Since the Muslim Seleka coup in March, the country has been engulfed in anarchy. Warlords and militia continue to loot, rape and murder.

After facing months of victimization, the mostly Christian and Animist local population started forming self-defense groups in September to counter the marauding Seleka. These self-defense groups have now attacked Muslims, raising fears of interfaith genocide, inviting brutal reprisal from Seleka.

An article from BBC News explains that some of CAR’s neighboring countries are trying to emerge from the years of conflict and remain extremely unstable. “The CAR is becoming a breeding ground for extremists and armed groups in a region that is already suffering from conflict and instability,” explains a reporter.

Despite its catastrophic proportions, the CAR crisis remains largely overshadowed by other crises around the world. Observers, aid workers, and Central Africans have warned that the international response has been insufficient. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will meet later this month at France’s request to decide whether to create a UN peacekeeping force for the area.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the UN is preparing to possibly deploy peacekeepers to CAR, but that the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) first want an opportunity to try and combat the crisis. The UN and France have warned earlier that the number of African peacekeepers intended to be deployed under ECCAS and the AU by 2014 will not be enough to curb the spiral of violence in the country.

Pray that peace will prevail and that God Christ work in the hearts of those who don’t know Christ.

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