A Carmelite missionary working in the Central African Republic denounced violence committed against civilians by a local rebel group. The country is in turmoil after Seleka, a rebel coalition, overthrew the government and installed rebel leader Michel Djotodia as president.
According to Fides News Agency, Fr. Aurelio Gazzera said that citizens from various villages are fleeing to the neighboring town of Bozoum.
On July 25, members of Seleka from Bossangoa arrived in the village of Bossa, searching for the mayor. The inhabitants took refuge in a nearby forest as the rebels looted the village. Later on in the evening, the Seleka rebels returned to carry out a systematic looting house by house.
The population took refuge in the forest. After an initial looting, the rebels apparently had withdrawn, but returned at around 11 at night to carry out a systematic looting house by house.
The rebel forces raid resulted in the death of an adult and a child of just 5 months old. The rebels also took six hostages, and led them to Ouham Bac. 6 of the two hostages were killed (among them was the son of the vice-mayor), another was injured and yet another was severely beaten.
Fr. Aurelio has been a Carmelite missionary in Central Africa since 1992, who since 2003 has been working in Bozoum.