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Central African Republic: 10,000 seek refuge at monastery

Catholic World News - December 06, 2013

Amid continued civil strife in the Central African Republic, 10,000 people have sought refuge in a church and monastery in a neighborhood of Bangui, the nation’s capital, according to Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies.

Members of the Séléka rebel coalition assumed power in the nation in March, and Islamist Séléka members, some of them foreigners, have been attacking Christian institutions, raising fears of genocide. Forces loyal to ousted President François Bozizé, along with citizens defending themselves against Séléka, have been fighting back.

“The situation in Bangui is chaotic,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the nation’s leading prelate. “Many people have been killed. The fighting must stop immediately.”

“Women and children are coming to churches to seek safety across the capital,” he added. “They have nothing to eat and drink, so we are giving them what we can.”

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