In the Central African Republic of Bangui rebels known as “Seleka” rule, rape, and pillage.
Bangui is a land-locked former French colony where the rebels’ dominating power has reached a level the prime minister describes as “catastrophic.”
According to The New York Times, “the rebels cruise conspicuously [through Bangui] in their Toyota Hilux pickup trucks.” They are fighters from the north: many of whom are “Chadians, turbaned, or wearing looted fatigues.” All with “guns bristling.”
The citizens “keep their distance” as the rebels pass because “everyone has an abduction story.”
The rebels pick up citizens accused of fighting against the rebels’ absolute control: citizens accused of things like “reading fliers that called for a general strike.” Once picked up they are normally not seen alive again.
Instead bodies show up by the roadside or elsewhere, and are buried in anticipation of more bodies showing up soon.
Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye describes it as “anarchy” and says Bangui has become a “nonstate.”
The U.S. “abandoned” its embassy in Bangui months ago.
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