Terrorists attacked and killed Christians in the Central African Republic in a May 28 raid in the capital city, Bangui. According to Catholic Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui, the marauders spoke neither French nor the local Sango language. Said Archbishop Nzapalainga, “The attackers shouted in English ‘open the door’”. Armed with automatic weapons and hand grenade, the terrorists attacked the Our Lady of Fatima parish in Bangui were refugees had sought respite from anti-Christian violence.
The assault left 18 persons dead, including Rev. Paul-Emile Nzale, 76, a Catholic priest. At least 42 other persons were abducted during the raid but were later found dead. Archbishop Nzapalainga could not confirm the latter information, saying “Some survivors whom I met told me people were taken away, but on their whereabouts voices are contradictory: some say they were killed others affirm they are still alive,”according to the Fides news service.
Following the deadly assault, tensions have increased markedly in Bangui. “The city is totally paralyzed. Demonstrators calling for the temporary government to resign were dispersed by the army. Tension is high and no one knows what is going to happen” said Archbishop Nzapalainga.
Sources in the Central African Republic contend that the attack at Our Lady of Fatima parish was carried out by Muslim foreigners who now have complete control over the Kilometre 5 district of Bangui. While local authorities disavow knowledge of a foreign Muslim terrorist presence, local people contend that terrorists from Sudan and Nigeria have infiltrated the country. Fides news service says that local observers feel that by likening the Muslim terrorists to Christian self-defense forces, known as anti-balaka, Western media have granted the terrorists a valuable propaganda victory. Catholic Bishop Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia of Bossangoa had sounded the alarm in April about the presence of foreign Muslim terrorists, known as jihadi.
It is in the Central African Republic, Chad, and Cameroon, that the Muslim terrorists known as Boko Haram are believed to take refuge. Nigeria has been assailed by terrorist attacks committed by Boko Haram in recent years. The U.S., United Kingdom, and France have sent advisors to assist Nigeria in routing Boko Haram.
Observers in the Central African Republic believe that the jihadi terrorists have infiltrated Seleka - the rebel coalition which took power in Bangui in 2013, throwing the country into chaos. Some of the anti-balaka self-defense forces who removed Seleka from Bangui have since degenerated into criminality.