Christian Militias in Central African Republic Target Muslim Minority

Former Muslim Strongholds Are Ghost Towns, Warn Rights Groups

While the pretext for the French invasion of the Central African Republic was violence by the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels, since their ouster Christian militias have used anti-Seleka sentiment to target Muslim civilians en masse, with many openly talking about religious cleansing of most, if not all, of the nation.

Major CAR cities have seen their Muslim minorities vanish in the blink of an eye. Yaloke once had 30,000 Muslims and eight mosques. Today, Human Rights Watch reportedly only about 500 are left. They are hiding out in a single mosque, their neighborhoods looted and the rest of the mosques destroyed by the militias.

It’s even more stark in what used to be Muslim-dominated towns, which HRW described as virtual ghost towns now. They talked to militias in those areas who promised to kill any Muslims who remained.

Amnesty International warned the exodus was reaching “historic proportions,” and that the international troops sent to the country to stop the fighting had failed to protect the Muslim minority.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.