Over half-a-million Central Africans remain displaced outside of their country, fearing religious or ethnic violence should they return. These refugees—many of them religious minorities—now find themselves wondering if they will be allowed to participate in rebuilding their war-ravaged country as the nation’s December elections approach.
Central African Republic
USCIRF Commissioner Fr. Thomas J. Reese testifies before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on preventing mass atrocities.
The Central African Republic has a long history of political strife, coups, severe human rights abuses, and underdevelopment. Despite this, sectarian violence and targeted killing based on religious identity are new to the majority-Christian country. The ongoing conflict started after the 2013 coup by a coalition of Muslim-majority militias and has resulted in thousands of people dead, 2.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 480,000 refugees, and more than 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).