Source: The Siasat Daily
Almost all of the 436 mosques in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been reduced to rubble, said Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations.
She called the destruction “kind of crazy, chilling,” after a Security Council visit last week to the country.
Power expressed concern about possible security vacuum in the near future as French forces and European Union (EU) pull out and a UN peacekeeping force is still not at full strength.
As a minimum, 5000 people have been killed since CAR exploded into unprecedented sectarian violence in December 2013.
Approximately 1 million of the Texas-sized country’s 4.5 million residents have been changed place. Many of those who have fled are Muslim.
Power said 417 of the country’s mosques have been smashed. When she pays a visit to one of the remaining Muslim neighborhood in the capital, Bangui, she described the residents as “a terrified population.”
She added that some Muslim women even scared of leaving the community while wearing their veils and is choosing to give birth in their homes instead of hospital.
UN peacekeepers, French forces and a European Union military operation have made an effort to tranquil the violence.
According to Samantha Power, the UN peacekeeping force remains at about 80 % of its planned strength of about 10,000.
The UN secretary-general last month asked for over 1,000 additional peacekeepers, and the council is “very favourably disposed” to the request, Power said.
The combined forces have “averted a worst-case scenario,” however the country’s roving armed groups remains armed, she said.
Power called that a deep cause for concern and said disarmament is a “huge priority.”