Central African Republic a Religious Battleground, by Ruth Kramer, at Mission Network News
"Hatred seems to be festering as Muslims and Christians continue to engage in a tit-for-tat dispute in the Central African Republic.
"Splintered factions behind the violence make the potential of peace a hard purpose to embrace. Renewed violence across the country marked the anniversary of the March 24 seizure of power by the ex-Seleka.
"That touched off a new wave of vicious attacks four days ago throughout the CAR. The United Nations Children’s Fund warns that thousands of children, from both Muslim and Christian communities, are especially at risk. They have confirmed reports of the deaths of at least three children in an attack March 27. In the past week of violence, eight children injured by grenade and gunfire have been treated.
"It’s gotten so bad that the locals are calling the fighting the Somalization of the country.
"Last week, the African Union branded militia targeting Muslims as “terrorists” and said they would be treated as enemy combatants, a day after killing a Congolese peacekeeper.
"In Muslim areas, villages are made up of gutted buildings and burned-out homes, beyond which the Christian militia lie in wait, trying to starve out the survivors. At the same time, there are the remains of burned-out Christian quarters, and grieving families."