But remember: the real problem are the “extremists” who say there is a jihad threat. “Sectarian tensions mount in C. African Rep. town,” by Florence Richard and Krista Larson for the Associated Press, November 30:
BOUCA, Central African Republic (AP) “” About a dozen Muslim armed fighters rolled up to the Catholic mission in their pickup truck and delivered an ominous message to the hundreds seeking refuge on church grounds: Leave the premises by morning or face death.
Ismael Hadjaro, a self-proclaimed colonel in a rebel movement that overthrew Central African Republic’s president earlier this year, accused the mission and its staff of harboring armed Christian combatants.
“If you are not gone by 8 o’clock tomorrow morning we will come back and shoot you and burn down the mission,” he told the nun running the mission, according to a witness. “You’re making this a religious war.”
No, you are.
Frantic phone calls followed and soon soldiers from a regional peacekeeping mission showed up to guard the Catholic mission, where church officials and aid workers insist they are merely trying to protect civilians. Most of the people sheltered there are women and children, according to Lewis Mudge, a researcher with the Africa division of Human Rights Watch who witnessed the colonel’s threat in Bouca last week.
France’s foreign minister has warned that its former colony in central Africa is “on the verge of genocide” as attacks mount across the country’s remote northwest between the mostly Muslim fighters from Seleka, who ousted the president in March, and Christian militias that have emerged to defend towns and in some cases attack Muslim civilian communities. To try to avert further violence France has pledged to send 1,000 troops to Central African Republic to help boost security before an African Union-led peacekeeping mission is fully up and running.
The situation in Bouca has been particularly dire since early September, and fresh clashes in late November prompted the threat against the Catholic mission. Forty-three bodies have been buried in recent weeks in Bouca, about 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Bangui, the capital, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross….