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Prelate denounces use of term ‘Christian militia’ in Central African conflict

Catholic World News - February 11, 2014

The leading Catholic prelate in the Central African Republic has denounced the activities of Anti-balaka, a network of militias often described as “Christian” in secular media reports.

“Call them self-defense militias, village militias, but please spare us the word ‘Christian’ in this context,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga according to an Agence France-Press report.

“Muslims are not the only ones suffering from the Anti-balaka,” he added. “We have all become victims.”

Members of Anti-balaka, according to media reports, have been killing Muslims.

Anti-balaka was formed to fight against the Islamist Séléka forces who helped bring Michel Djotodia to power in March 2013 and who “embarked on months of looting, raping, and killing,” in the words of a December Reuters report. Islamist Séléka members, some of them foreigners, attacked Christian institutions, raising fears of genocide. Djotodia resigned in January.

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