Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Centrafrique: Mixed Christian Muslim marriages casualty of war

While Western Central African Republic's Muslim population has fled to safe refuge either in Bangui, at Bangui's International Airport or fled across the borders to neighboring Chad, Cameroon or Gabon, mixed neighbors and families are still holding out against the violence from Anti-Balaka and the remaining Seleka rebels. Mixed Christian and Muslim marriages are small but common in Central African Republic. In other countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia or even Nigeria, having large or small families where having a Muslim aunt married to a Christian uncle or having a brother who is Christian or a fiance who is Muslim is viewed as ordinary not extraordinary. Despite the rise in violent extremist group Boko Haram in Nigeria or Anti-Balaka in Central African Republic, mixed Christian-Muslim marriages are not a source of tension for ordinary Central Africans. Before CAR's war religion wasn't treated as a divisive factor in anyone's marriage as the war has now made it. At the day's end, everyone in Bangui and beyond are Central Africans, religion and ethnicity aside. Mixed families have been fighting the rebel forces raiding or sweeping through their neighborhoods in Bangui and other towns. Wives and husbands have been protecting their families from division along religious lines. Children of mixed households are are also feeling the division played between their parents' diverse backgrounds at the expense of their entire family.

Meanwhile the debates and delays for a European peacekeeping forces have been postponed indefinitely. In Boda, which recently witnessed the mass exodus of its Muslim residents, the Boda peace agreement was drawn up to halt Anti-Balaka violence. the Anti-Balaka rebels would agree to cooperate with the French troops belonging to Operation Sangaris. Some internally displaced Central Africans have  gradually returned to Bangui despite the occasional violent attacks and assaults on Bangui suburbs on Muslims and Christians. 

No comments:

Post a Comment