US News Central African Republic: Relations between religious communities Fluidified

16:15  16 april  2021
16:15  16 april  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Scène de la vie quotidienne dans le quartier PK5, à majorité musulmane, à Bangui, Centrafrique. © RFI / Bertrand Haeckler Scene of everyday life in the PK5 district, for Muslim majority in Bangui, Central African Republic.

On the occasion of Ramadan, which began this week, RFI is interested in Muslim minorities in the world. In Central Africa, Muslims accounted for 10% of the population in the last census of 2003. The conflict in which the country switched into 2013, originally political, has resulted in a polarization between Muslims and Christians, but since The situation has improved extensively.

with our Special Bangui return envoy, Florence Morice

It is important to complain that the Central African conflict, which broke out in 2013, was not religious. There has always been in Central African family exchanges between Christians and Muslims. It is, however, that the former Seleka who overthrew the power of Bozizé being Muslim, consequently the conflict overlapped the religious categories that could be instrumentalized to endorse the idea that there was on one side. Muslims and the other non Muslims. The best proof that this reading is inaccurate, it is probably what we have been witnessing since December: a new rebellion that brings together ex-Seleka and Anti-Balaka, by Christian majority.

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Then we can not deny that the violence that take place, again again this religious cleavage, have caused trauma and mistrust, long to dissipate. In Bangui, he had become almost unthinkable for a Christian to go to the Muslim PK5 district and vice versa. There was also a decline in interreligious marriages, but even at the height of the crisis, trade between different communities have never completely ceased.

Economic difficulties

of the very notice of the Imam of Petevo, the Muslim community in the country is not osstracted. Since 2014, the authorities have made efforts. Religious buildings destroyed during the crisis, Christians like Muslims, have been rebuilt. The competitions of the gendarmerie and the army were opened to the Muslims. While they remain strongly under represented in these functions, but also because traditionally young Muslims are used to turning to business and did not necessarily see the public service as an outlet.

Seven Catholic Religious, including Two French, Kidnapped in Haiti

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It is also true that in some cities, Muslims or displaced are still few to return home. But this is the case too Christians. And it is sometimes more because of the trauma left by the violence or because their homes have been destroyed or occupied only because they would be in danger because of their religion. Overall, in Bangui, the circulation between the different Muslim and non-Muslim neighborhoods has, for example, regained its fluidity.

Finally, the main difficulties faced by Muslims during this period of Ramadan maintain the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and also the economic consequences not only of this pandemic, but also the conflict triggered in December which paralyzed the economy. . It is therefore not in connection with an ostracism that would be linked to their religion.

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