Bangui archbishop condemns Christian militia attacks on Muslims
A Christian cleric in the Central African Republic has condemned Christian militia for carrying out attacks on Muslim civilians in the crisis-hit country.
"You cannot say you are Christian and kill, burn, destroy your brother," Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the archbishop of Bangui, said on Vatican Radio on Thursday.
Nzapalainga said violence perpetrated by Christian militia groups against Muslims is not coherent with the teachings of Jesus Christ and denounced the attacks as a “struggle for power.”
"Imams, pastors and myself, we speak the same language.... We ask that those who use, who manipulate young people, be held responsible on a national and an international level," he urged.
The Catholic cleric made the comments one day after Amnesty International denounced what it called ethnic cleansing in the country, with international peacekeepers unable to stop it.
Amnesty said it has documented at least 200 killings of Muslim civilians by the Christian militia groups since last year.
Also on Wednesday, CAR's new interim President Catherine Samba-Panza declared war against the Christian militia behind the “ethnic cleansing” campaign against Muslim citizens in the country.
More than 1,000 people have been killed in the Central African Republic since last December, when Christian militia launched coordinated attacks against the mostly Muslim Seleka group, which toppled the government in March 2013.
On December 5, 2013, France invaded its former colony after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.