WASHINGTON, February 6, 2014 – The United States is deeply concerned by recent sectarian attacks against both Muslims and Christians in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). Clashes during the past few days in the town of Boda reportedly left over 75 dead, most of whom were Muslims. In late January, a convoy carrying mostly Muslims, including ex-Seleka militias, fired on the largely Christian residents of the town of Bocaranga, forcing many to flee. Many Muslim families have fled from their homes and some 50,000 third-country nationals have left the country. In the last year, approximately one million people have been displaced across the country, including some 85,000 new refugees that have fled to neighboring countries.
This sectarian violence must end. The people of C.A.R. must seize the opportunity afforded by its newly appointed transitional leadership and a strong level of international support to end the present crisis and move toward a stable and peaceful society. This will not be successful unless all groups look toward the future and break the cycle of violent retribution for past events. We commend the actions of the African Union-led stabilization mission, MISCA, with the support of French forces, to try to stem the violence. The United States, working with other governments and international organizations, will support the efforts of the transition government to end the conflict and re-establish a functioning state. We call on all in C.A.R. to join this effort and work toward reconciliation rather than revenge.