News / Africa

Girl, 11, Sole Muslim Survivor of Massacres in CAR Town

Anti-Balaka youths in Bouguere, 300 km west of the capital where all Muslims were killed
Anti-Balaka youths in Bouguere, 300 km west of the capital where all Muslims were killed

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Kim Lewis
A girl discovered hiding in a dark corner of an abandoned house is believed the sole survivor of two massacres that recently devastated the Muslim quarter of a village west of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic where communal violence continues to rage after several months.

The human rights organization, Amnesty International, says the 11-year old Muslim girl was found crouched in a corner of her family’s home, traumatized and weak from going without food or water for four days. Her parents and neighbors were dead.

Her rescuer was Donatella Rovera, an Amnesty International senior crisis response adviser. Rovera told VOA she had gone to the town of Bouguere - about 155 miles west of Bangui - to investigate reports of a January 24 massacre in which thousands in the town had died.  However, Rovera soon realized a second massacre had been committed.

Any Muslims who survived the first attack and did not flee the town were apparently being targeted in second attack which occurred a week ago.

“There were bodies literally littering the streets,” says Rovera. “Some of them were burned.  Some of them were mutilated.  I saw two that were being chewed on by dogs.  The bodies had been left in the streets, in the Muslim quarter of the town, which is where most of the killings happened. And the homes were either burned or thoroughly ransacked.”

As she walked from house to house, Rovera saw bodies. In one house she saw the bodies of two women and a baby she thought was six or seven months old. The baby had no visible injuries but was lying face down, leading Rovera to think that perhaps the infant died after getting lost looking for his own parents who may have tried to flee their killers.

“And then in one of the abandoned houses, I found a little girl, age about eleven, who was crouching in a corner, in the dark,” Rovera says.  “She had not eaten or drunk for the previous four days - it seems the day of the massacre. And she was so weak that she couldn’t even stand up.”
Rovera asked others in the neighborhood about the girl.

“I understand from other residents of the town that her father was killed on the 10th of February, the day of the most recent massacre.  Her mother had been killed during the previous massacre.”

Other villagers told Rovera she should take the girl out of the village because she is the only survivor in the town’s Muslim neighborhood.

Rovera said she had found a safe place far from Bouguere where she will receive care. Amnesty and other organizations are looking for living relatives of Bouguere’s surviving Muslim.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid