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Sudanese advocacy group accuses France of targeting Muslims in CAR

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September 29, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese popular committee for advocating Central African Republic’s (CAR) Muslims accused France of arming and using military gangs as proxy to kill the Muslim population in the restive country.

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This Aug. 28, 2014, photo shows a Muslim enclosed area between the road to Bangui blocked by an anti Balaka district and Chretien neighborhood in Boda, Central African Republic (AP Photo/Sylvain Cherkaoui)

Since the beginning of this year, Muslim ethnic groups have been fleeing the country due to attacks committed by anti-Balka militiamen after the resignation of former president Michel Djotodia who ousted president Francois Bozizé in March 2013.

The African Union (AU) deployed some 5,000 peacekeepers and France dispatched 2,000 soldiers but they failed to stop the bloodshed. An European force of 800-1,000 troops also arrived in the country.

The committee, which includes several Islamic groups and clerics, said that Paris is assuming a new role against Muslims in Africa on behalf of the United States.

It disclosed in a statement on Monday that 3,700 Muslims were killed in CAR since last January, calling upon the AU, Arab League (AL), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the Sudanese government to denounce and condemn practices of the French troops against CAR Muslims besides rendering support to the latter in their legitimate struggle to defend themselves.

The committee also underscored the need to reintegrate South Sudan with Sudan again before the newly born state is torn apart.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the southern voters chose independence.

The committee said that Muslims in South Sudan represent a significant proportion of the population.

The committee’s general secretary, Nassir al-Sid, warned in a press conference on Monday that ongoing events in CAR adversely impacts the situation in Darfur, noting that CAR’s Muslim population is concentrated in the northern part of the country adjacent to Darfur.

He stressed that French troops are committing “heinous massacres” against CAR’s Muslims.

The committee’s public relations official, Abdel-Rahim Munir, said that Muslims constitute more than 37% of CAR’s population, pointing that there are five joint tribes between CAR and Sudan including Rizeigat and Salamat.

He said the number of Muslims who have been killed since last January exceeded 3,700, adding that 4,800 refugees are currently living in Cameron while 3,700 others are in Chad.

Munir stressed that CAR’s refugees in Sudan had returned to their country, adding that the northern part of CAR would either secede from the country or live in isolation.

He noted the “dreadfully” deteriorating humanitarian situation and proliferation of diseases, underscoring the need for providing urgent assistance.

The committee member, Abu-Bakr Mohamed, for his part said that France seeks to keep CAR as a reserve for the coming French generations, describing the current situation in the country as “tragic”.

Mohamed, who is a national of CAR, said that secession is not in the interest of the country and society, calling upon Muslims to support unity of their country.

(ST)

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