« Here in Bouar, we have war. The anti – Balakas and the Seleka group are fighting. Luckily, the entire population of the city of Boar is in the cathedral and in the religious convents and here with us in the monastery. We fear that the Seleka group is going to shoot at the population hidden in the religious convents.
The third week of this new year has been the most difficult and the most tragic in the history of the city of Bouar.
On Friday 17th, at midday, the antibalakas attacked the military camp occupied by the ex-seleka. The shooting exchange (heavy armaments) continued until 3 o’clock. The antibalakas were pushed back. For the moment we ignore the number of victims. Later, the ex séléka began to burn the houses in the areas near the military camp. We ignore for the moment the damage caused by these « militaries ». The inhabitants of Bouar and Wantiguera found a shelter in the parish premises or in the seminaries. In the cathedral there there more than 3 thousand persons, in St. Laurent more than 2 thousand and in Wantiguera more than 400 persons. They gather also in the protestant churches and in the mosque. We haven’t been informed about the number. There is no longer any telephone network.
A family lodging in a parish centre was attacked by its non-muslim neighbours. After this attack the father was also wounded as well as the rest of the family. « They are our neighbours with whom we attended the same school, played together and brought up in the same district » say the young girls belonging to this family.
The last day of the week, Saturday, started with the news concerning another attack of the antibalakas who were getting prepared or who had already started (according to the inhabitants living near the airport of Wantiguera (6 km from Bouar). They wanted to drive away at all costs, the seleka militaries from the camp.
With all our possible means or with the others’ help, we could get information about all that was happening in Bouar, about the representative of the French Army (the Sangaris Operation in RCA), the UN. The MISCA are in Bouar since last October, they are also present in the cities where the people are gathered, but their number isn’t enough to meet the current needs. We therefore rely on the rapid intervention of the French Army and the UN. Without this help, the armed men will continue to spread disorder and increase the number of victims and wounded. Genocide isn’t excluded in spite of all the effort made by the leaders of every community. In order to avoid this bloodshed the military reaction is necessary. It’s a heavy responsibility.
Prayer can contribute a lot for this change to occur ».
« Bocaranga is in the hands of the Seleka group who left Bouar yesterday night to head towards Chad. This group shoots heavily, right, left and centre.
The news which we could have say that they have fired as much as they could. There are holes in the convent war.
They took away all the vehicles, fathers and sisters, money, computers, telephones, cameras… whatever they saw.
It’s terrible. A woman who found refuge in our house has been killed and her brother Nestor was wounded in his hand ».
“…. I don’t know from where I could start because we are so upset with what happened yesterday. The Seleka went first to the Fathers and began to shoot… we could hear shouting, a general break out and a continuous machine gunning. After having taken everything from the fathers including a car, they then came to us. First, they took away the cars… then they kicked the entrance door from the kitchen side… We were in the corridor because bullets kept showering from all sides. At the end I opened the door and I found myself in front of a Seleka who asked for money. I gave him something… but then he asked for more… I told him that I didn’t have any more. So he started to charge his gun; he shot to the ground and hit my foot. At the end he pushed me and went away to search the rooms. Then others arrived, but each time they entered they cruelly searched all round while the others had already taken away our car and that of the doctor. They went away but then others arrived. One of them slapped the doctor of Bouar in her face who is here with us, he searched her pockets and took away her mobile phone: … they broke my room door, threw the papers on the floor but didn’t take anything.
Then they smashed the garage door, took with them two barrels believing they contained fuel oil, but were later abandoned in the yard… Later they left… after half an hour, another Toyota full of Seleka members arrived… I was in the yard, in front of the house. I approached them and greeted them. They did the same politely and asked for a rope to drag the commander’s car. But they behaved politely, two of them were wounded, one in his head while the other in his leg. They assured me not to be afraid. Their intents were good; only the first group had the courage to carry out such a disaster!
This morning, after mass we were informed that other Seleka members were on the way. So I bid all the girls in the foyer and the young sisters to flee to the mountain where others were hiding.
We, the three sisters remained with the doctor. The antibalaka went into the concession because according to them we were hiding the Muslims there. They took away the lamps and then went away… There is more to say, but I feel so stressed that I am not able to write all the experience… the lamp burns in the chapel and many persons are praying for us. Will not the Lord hear the cry of the poor? The networks are not working… The village of Bocaranga is empty. Nobody is around. ”