Exclusive report: Central African Republic on the brink
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In the wake of a rebellion in March, the Central African Republic's new leaders have failed to stop waves of looting and killing by gunmen with free reign outside the capital Bangui. Watch FRANCE 24’s exclusive report from a country on the brink.
Watch the full, exclusive report from the Central African Republic on FRANCE 24, Thursday, September 26, at 4:45pm GMT.
The Central African Republic has been sinking into chaos since northern Séléka rebels seized the capital Bangui and ousted President François Bozizé in March.
Many of the approximately 25,000 fighters of the Séléka coalition have stopped taking orders from anyone besides their direct commanding officers, who have begun carving up the country into fiefdoms.
Earlier this month, interim president Michel Djotodia officially disbanded the Séléka alliance, even banning the rebels from any responsibilities related to security in the capital of Bangui.
While there has been relative success in re-establishing the rule of law in the capital of the land-locked and mineral-rich country, the new government is proving powerless to contain waves of looting and killing in rural provinces.
In an exclusive report for FRANCE 24, journalists Etienne Huver and Boris Heger ventured to the community of Bossangoa, around 250 km northwest of Bangui on September 11.
Under UN military escort they crossed dozens of villages that have been abandoned by residents that are targeted by rivalling camps. Vigilante groups regularly harass government forces passing through the region.
About 50 km outside Bossangoa they found a burnt-out village that had been the recent scene of murder and pillage. Six people were killed with machetes.
Djotodia is the first Muslim president of an overwhelmingly Christian country, and angry armed groups have began targeting Muslim communities.
The potential for inter-ethnic violence on a large scale has never been worse, according to local religious leaders who are struggling to calm the population.