Both Christian and Muslim citizens in the Central African Republic are facing continued violence, as the insecurity that has pervaded the country since last spring’s coup shows no signs of abating. Yesterday, 1,300 Muslims were evacuated from the capital Bangui, and escorted by peacekeepers to a northern area of the country that is relatively stable. Symbolic of the breakdown of relations between Christians and Muslims in the Central African Republic, some Muslims burned their cars down prior to leaving – better to torch it than have some Christians use it for their own purposes. Following their departure from PK12, of one of the last Muslim communities in the capital, further violence unfolded, as the local mosque, homes and businesses were looted.
The evacuation was a last-ditch attempt at saving the endangered lives of Muslims living in the capital. Internal displacement, however, also has its consequences. Individuals leaving everything behind are extremely vulnerable: with no home, no work and no long term food provisions, people become almost exclusively dependent on aid, whether in the form of international support or by moving into other households, whose own livelihood can be threatened by the need to share the same amount of resources among more people.