From sources as diverse as the BBC, The Guardian, Walid Shoebat and Human Rights Watch, Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) are facing a near genocide at the hands of Islamic terrorists, many of them from neighboring Jihadi strongholds of Chad and The Sudan.
Yet reports are leaking out of the landlocked nation that ragtag groups of Christian men and boys are forming self-defense militias against the Jihadists.
Officially known as Seleka, meaning “Alliance” in the local tongue, the Muslim terrorists have been incorporated into the Muslim-controlled national army.
Muslims constitute only 15% of the population in this majority Catholic country but control the masses through sheer terror, due in large part to they’re being the only ones with access to the nation’s armories.
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Since the toppling of the rightful ruler President François Bozizé, the Seleka have begun staging public executions of Christians, including beheadings.
One of the more savage terror attacks reported was when Christian hostages were bound hand and foot then thrown into a river to be eaten alive by crocodiles.
Naming themselves after the Muslim gang’s favorite edged weapon for massacring Christians, the volunteers have named themselves the Anti-Balaka (Anti-Machete) Militia.
From all accounts, the Christian militias lack central command and control, professional training, or anything even remotely close to qualifying as modern weaponry.
Armed with old shotguns, farm tools, and homemade swords, members of the Anti-Balaka Militia have made it clear they have no choice but to take a stand to protect the weak and vulnerable. The Muslim-on-Christian violence has been so pronounced, the Anti-Balaka Militia experienced a flood of volunteers eager for payback.
As one anonymous militiaman stated:
I want to become a rebel and kill members of Seleka. We suffered too much.
Muslims are our enemies.
As another fighter who was identified only as a leader in the Christian militia said:
The anti-Balaka are exclusively Christian, and our aim is to liberate the Christian population from the yoke of the Muslims.
We are not a rebel group, our fight is only against the Seleka and to protect the population from them.
We are the youth, organized by ourselves in self-defense.
Upward of 35,000 Christians have sought refuge on the grounds of the Catholic Mission in the embattled town of Bossangoa. One refugee there identifying himself with the false name of Papa Romeo echoed the widely held sentiment:
We have never seen religions tensions like this in the CAR before. The CAR is not a Muslim country; it is a Christian country.
We have never seen so many Muslims in the country before. They have come from other countries.
Reportedly, almost half a million people have become refugees in the nation that numbers six and a half million. The man in charge of the city’s Catholic Mission, Father Frédéric Tonfio, pleads with the international community for rescue:
I have only been able to count on my colleagues in the Church. The silence of the international community is like they are accomplices allowing this to happen.
It’s almost as if the Sekela is stronger than the international community. Everyone knows what is going on here.
Every day that we delay, more people die.