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Anti-balaka is the term used to refer to the Christian militias formed in the Central African Republic after the rise to power of Michel Djotodia. Anti-balaka means "anti-machete" or "anti-sword" in the local Sango and Mandja languages.[1][2] Michel Djotodia was the leader of the mostly Muslim rebel coalition known as Séléka that overthrew François Bozizé in the Central African Republic conflict in March 2013. Djotodia is the first Muslim leader of the country.[3] In September 2013 Michel Djotodia announced that Séléka had been dissolved[4] but most of the militias refused to disband.[2] The increasing violence was largely from reprisal attacks on civilians from ex-Seleka's[5] mainly Muslim fighters and the anti-balaka.[2] As many Christians had sedentary lifestyles and many Muslims were nomadic, claims to the land were yet another dimension of the tensions.[6] In November 2013, the UN warned the country was at risk of spiraling into genocide,[7] was "descending into complete chaos"[8] and France described the country as "...on the verge of genocide".[9] On 2 December, anti-balaka militiamen are suspected to have killed 12 people, including children, and wounded 30 others in an attack on the mostly Muslim Peuhl ethnic group in Boali, according to the government.[10] This is amidst the Central African Republic conflict under the Djotodia administration.

References[]

  1. "'Hundreds dead' in Central African Republic violence". bbcnews.com. 6 December 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25273681. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Smith, David (22 November 2013) Unspeakable horrors in a country on the verge of genocide The Guardian, Retrieved 23 November 2013
  3. "Religious tensions rise in C.Africa after coup". AFP. March 31, 2013. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. http://web.archive.org/web/20140227195348/http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jfAp3fJ1ouxd_gpogscNQPKN-Cww?docId=CNG.8bc9199938545b57ad5b571a24ae95eb.121. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  4. CAR’s Djotodia dissolves Seleka rebel group
  5. "CAR's death toll much higher than thought, says Amnesty". bbcnews.com. 19 December 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25441511. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  6. "'We Live and Die Here Like Animals'". foreignpolicy.com. 13 November 2013. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/13/we_live_and_die_here_like_animals_central_african_republic_muslim_christian_violence?page=0,1. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  7. "UN warning over Central African Republic genocide risk". bbcnews.com. 4 November 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24800682. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25095471
  9. "France says Central African Republic on verge of genocide". reuters.com. 21 November 2013. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/uk-centralafrica-france-idUKBRE9AK0WU20131121. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  10. "Central African Republic militia 'killed' children". bbcnews.com. 4 December 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25216351. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 

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