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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

New interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza stands nearby, warning 'troublemakers'

As a sign of the depths of anarchy the nation of the Central African republican has plummeted, a group of soldiers brutally beat and lynched a man they suspected of being a Muslim rebel. A few moments earlier, the new interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, stood nearby where she addressed a crowd of at least 1,000 soldiers.

New president Catherine Samba-Panza, appointed by parliament last month after coup leader Michel Djotodia stepped down under intense international pressure, made clear it would take time to restore order.

New president Catherine Samba-Panza, appointed by parliament last month after coup leader Michel Djotodia stepped down under intense international pressure, made clear it would take time to restore order.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: New president Catherine Samba-Panza, Central African Republic, lynching

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Seleka, the mostly Muslim rebel group that seized power in a coup last March, has held much of the nation hostage with justice meted out with machetes. The Army effectively disappeared during nine months of Seleka rule.

"Within a month, I would like to fully secure the greater part of the country and I aim to stick to my word," Samba-Panza said.

This beautiful photograph honors Father Junipero Serra --

Samba-Panza, appointed by parliament last month after coup leader Michel Djotodia stepped down under intense international pressure, made clear it would take time to restore order.

"At a certain point, everyone will be held responsible for their acts; I am warning troublemakers who continue to sow disorder in the country."

She also urged former soldiers to report for duty, saying those who did not would be considered deserters.

Shortly afterwards, about 20 uniformed soldiers accused a member of the crowd of having belonged to a rebel group after hearing the new president's promise.

The soldiers stamped on the man's lifeless body, which was then dragged nearly naked through the streets as residents looked on and took photographs.

The Seleka disbanded after Samba-Panza's inauguration last month and is deeply resented by the Christian majority after months of lootings and killings.

In the following turmoil Christian "anti-balaka" militias, or "anti-machete" in the local Sango language, were formed. This in turn led to more sectarian blood-letting. The presence of 1,600 French soldiers and 5,000 African troops has failed to stop retaliatory violence in which the United Nations says has already killed more than 2,000 people.

About one million people, a quarter of the former French colony's population, have fled their homes.

One of the African continent's poorest nations, the Central African Republic has a history of instability, and has seen five coups and several rebellions since winning independence from France in 1960.

According to a timetable established as part of a regionally brokered peace deal agreed last year, elections are supposed to be held by February 2015.

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