Central African Republic: Radicals Murder Priest in Rebellion

A young displaced Muslim girl holds a sign saying “No to Violence”

Bangui — REBELS have killed a Christian church leader in the crisis torn Central African Republic (CAR).

Vicar General of the Diocese of Bambari, Firmin Gbagoua, is the victim of escalating tensions between Muslim radicals and Christian extremists in the country.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has condemned the assassination.

Uwolowulakana Ikavi-Gbétanou, MINUSCA spokeswoman, said the organisation was committed to supporting national authorities to prosecute the perpetrators.

"The criminals must be severely punished for this cowardly and shameful crime," she said.

Ikavi-Gbétanou also warned against attempt to stir up religious and community tensions in the troubled country.

The killing of Gbagoua is among 24 incidents of abuse and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law MINUSCA has monitored, verified and documented throughout CAR over the past week.

Priests have not been spared the militancy in the war-torn country.

Last week in the region of Alindao, Muslim rebels attacked a priest and his colleague after the churchmen facilitated the burial of two victims the militants had shot dead.

The priest's colleague was also shot dead.

Conflict has characterised CAR since a rebellion by Muslim rebels in 2013. The government of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra is powerless in the sectarian violence.

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