Two writers discuss the rewriting of history, culture wars, multiple identities and the storyteller's duty to speak up.
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Tensions are high in the Central African Republic after days of violence left 61 people dead and up to 300 injured. With nearly one quarter of the population still displaced from the sectarian violence that took place between 2012 and 2014, there’s growing fear that the situation could deteriorate.
The renewed violence, which has been described as the worst in over a year, has forced 27,000 people to flee their homes in the capital Bangui over a period of six days. It began when a Muslim taxi driver was found decapitated outside a Mosque. Members of the Muslim community then attacked a Christian neighbourhood in a series of deadly clashes. The violence is threatening to spin out of control, as more than 500 inmates escaped a prison and militia fighters attacked and looted the offices of international aid organisations.
The country’s Foreign Minister, Samuel Rangba, said “the situation has once again become alarming” and asked the UN to strengthen its mission in the country. A spokesman for the peacekeeping office at the UN, Nick Birnback, said, "MINUSCA is patrolling and doing everything it can to stabilise the situation." The UN Security Council expressed its "deep concern about the upsurge of violence" and demanded all militias and non-state armed groups to immediately lay down their arms.
In response to the renewed violence, hundreds of demonstrators marched in Bangui and demanded an end to the transitional government, which delayed elections that were supposed to be held on October 18. The protesters also called for the exit of French troops and the reinforcement of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) so they can address the deteriorating situation.
So what steps have to be taken in order to establish lasting peace in the CAR?
On today's episode, we speak to:
General coordinator, SEWA-USA
Louisa Lombard @louisalombard
Assistant professor of anthropology, Yale University
Evan Cinq-Mars @ecinqmars
Advocacy officer, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Correspondent, Peace Direct
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