Prayers are continually needed for the political situation in the Central African Republic. Late last week, Encompass World Partners announced that mission personnel in the C.A.R. would be evacuated as soon as possible. (See Evacuation Orders Issued for CAR.) Barb Wooler, director of Project Hope and Charite, the orphan care ministry in the C.A.R., planned to leave today for the U.S. via Paris. Doug and Jacquie Jensen were scheduled to leave Wednesday for Yaounde, Cameroon, where they will engage in discipleship of local leaders.
“We feel drugged with sadness,” Barb wrote earlier today on her Facebook page and shared here with her permission. “We had hoped so much more for our people. Thank the Lord for sending the French soldiers. Please pray for the safety of these brave men as they disarm the bad guys. It will be a long way back for our people…” Later, she received word that her anticipated flight today from Bangui had been canceled — the flight from Paris had been recalled due to violence on the ground near the airport. It appears that all flights have been canceled. Barb and the Jensens remain on the mission compound in Bangui, which is in a neighborhood that has not experienced violence.
Here are a few stories from around the web that highlight the situation, including a video from NBC. A portion of each story is included. Click on the link to read the complete article.
Angry mobs carry out revenge attacks in Central African Republic (MSNBC – contains graphic photos)
Christian and Muslim mobs went on lynching sprees on Monday as French forces began disarming fighters in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. At least 459 people have been killed in the city since Thursday, according to figures from the local Red Cross cited by Reuters.
Krista Larson, a reporter with the Associated Press, described how one man who was walking with his son was singled out because of his white robe, traditionally worn by Muslims…
Violence in Bangui hospitals (Reliefweb)
Health facilities have been affected in the most recent wave of violence in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), which began on 5 December. Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) calls on all parties involved in the current conflict in CAR to allow the wounded and ill to safely obtain the critical medical care they need. MSF calls for an end to violence against patients, civilians and medical staff working in health care facilities in Bangui and throughout the country.
Last week, staff and patients at Hôpital de l’Amitié in Bangui witnessed summary executions carried out by armed men inside the hospital. “On Thursday, our teams saw a dozen corpses lying in front of the hospital,” says Rosa Crestani, MSF emergency coordinator. …
A swarm of Bangui residents trailed French troops as they began combing the streets for rogue rebels Monday, egging them on with a deluge of tips and tip-offs.
Almost every confiscated gun is met by cheers as units from France’s 1,600-strong “Operation Sangaris” go door-to-door to find weapons.
“We’re going from A to B, checking all vehicles and some homes, collecting intel,” said one officer who goes by the name of Ludo.
“We seize all weapons. The machetes too are considered weapons, so we confiscate them,” he said, a helicopter circling above his armoured convoy. …
What do you say to a grieving widow whose two sons have just been killed and who has 15 grandchildren at home to look after? How do you respond when the children with whom you have just been laughing and joking – who fled with their families to a rapidly growing camp for displaced people – tell you they are hungry and haven’t eaten for two days? How should you feel when you watch a seething mass of humanity taking refuge in desperate conditions because they feel safer there than in their homes? What should you say when a chill goes through you as you hear people, time and time again, blame the Muslims or the Christians for their plight?
There are no easy answers to these questions but this is the reality in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic today. Conditions are desperate. And people are very afraid. …
Two French soldiers have been killed in clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR). The country’s first casualties of the current military mission came just hours before France’s president was to visit the country.
The office of President Francois Hollande, who was in South Africa to attend the funeral of former President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, released a statement announcing the deaths of the two soldiers in the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui.
“The president expresses his profound respect for the sacrifice of these two soldiers and renews his full confidence in the French forces committed – alongside African forces – to restoring security in the Central African Republic, to protecting the people and guaranteeing access to humanitarian aid,” the statement said. …