Since my last post about the CAR in September 2013, a lot has happened in that country. The conflict has further intensified and developed along sectarian lines resulting in civil war between Christians and Muslims and it threatens to further develop into genocide. In my September post I have doubted the reports about clashes between Christians and Muslims in CAR, but it all turned out to be true. I think my doubts were actually wishful thinking, I did not want to point my finger at Muslims for killing Christians on the basis of subjective reports and I really hoped the reports were incorrect. Fighters with a Muslim background are responsible for a lot of conflict in Africa but I do not believe this is the nature of Islam and therefore I try not to fall into the trap of accusing any party of killing purely on the basis of religion. However, this turned out to be the situation in CAR after all.
The current situation in CAR is that both parties, Christians and Muslims are being displaced from their homes. Both communities blame each other for the atrocities that have happened during the last months. ex-Séléka fighters or affiliates are attacking Christian civilians and the counter movement, called anti-Balaka militias, attacks Muslims on a wide scale. Last Friday anti-Balaka attacked the village of Boali, killing at least five and injuring over twenty. Survivors found refuge in a church, which is defended by French and African Union forces.
The European Union has decided to give financial and military aid to help to stabilize CAR. About $200 million will be donated for urgent humanitarian needs and $296 million for humanitarian measures, stabilization and the restoration of basic human services. Furthermore, to stabilize the situation in CAR, the EU foreign ministers agreed on sending military aid as well. Between 500 and 1,000 troops will be send to reinforce the already 1,500 French troops that are active in CAR. Germany has said it will contribute with transportation units, but will not be sending any combat forces. The EU has urged that it will only deploy forces for a limited time until the promised 6,000 African Union troops well be deployed.