Tortured bodies found in CAR river

2014-06-20 06:22
Ex-Seleka rebels drive in a truck in Bangui in CAR. (Fred Dufour, AFP)

Ex-Seleka rebels drive in a truck in Bangui in CAR. (Fred Dufour, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangui - Ten bodies showing signs of torture have been found this week in a river in the troubled Central African Republic, a security official said on Thursday.

The bodies were found in the central Bambari region, close to 400km from the capital Bangui, and near where the mainly-Muslim ex-Seleka rebels have established their new headquarters.

"At least 10 bodies bearing signs of torture have been found floating in the Ouaka river near Bambari since Monday," a police official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The bodies are all male, and seem to have been tortured, beaten and stabbed or shot, and they all had their arms and feet bound," he added, saying that an investigation had been launched into the killings.

The Central African Republic has seen more than a year of unrest, with violence between the ex-Seleka rebels and the largely Christian militias leaving tens of thousands dead and about a quarter of the population of some 4.5 million displaced.

Fighting in a village outside the town of Bambari earlier this month left at least 22 people dead, both Muslim and Christian, according to security officials.

A local journalist said that the bodies found in the latest massacre had been "horribly mutilated" and that recent violence in the region had left the local population in a state of panic.

"Life has become unbearable because of the ex-Seleka, who easily infiltrate the population to attack civilians," he said.

Amadi Nedjad, a spokesperson for the ex-Seleka, denied that his group had anything to do with the bodies found in the river.

Seleka rogues

"Members of the ex-Seleka are all currently confined to barracks in Bambari. They could not have left their headquarters, where they are being watched by French troops from the Sangaris force, and African soldiers from MISCA, to go and commit these crimes," he said.

France has deployed 2 000 peacekeeping troops to the strife-torn and deeply impoverished former colony, while the UN Security Council voted in April to send 12 000 additional peacekeepers to try and contain the fighting.

The Seleka seized power in a coup in March 2013, ousting the president and installing Michel Djotodia as head of state.

He resigned last January, giving way to a transitional regime. Since then many Seleka forces have gone rogue, killing, raping and looting civilians.

The violence lead to a backlash with the emergence of anti-balaka (anti-machete) forces, primarily targeting the Muslim minority, and forcing many to flee from their homes.

Both sides have been accused of committing widespread atrocities, and a number of tortured and mutilated bodies have been found in conflict-hit areas.

Read more on:    seleka  |  central african republic  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.