7 Dec 2013

Bodies lie at parliament’s front door in Central African Republic

Warning: this blog and film contain graphic and distressing scenes from the start.

Pre News refresh player – this is the default player for the C4 news site – please do not delete. Ziad

It’s some symbol of failed statehood: the bodies, bloated and grotesque as they putrefy in the blazing equatorial sun, right at the shut front gates of the National Assembly – the parliament of the Central African Republic (CAR).

There are lots. More appear every hour of the day. At least 300 killed in the past two days here in Bangui.

Which is why several thousand still surround the airport – they think because there are several hundred French troops securing it they will be safe. They may or may not be right.

Last night, the murderous Seleka militia took 10 wounded patients from the Amitie clinic here and shot them all dead.

This morning, our colleagues saw two men flee a gun, dagger and machete-wielding Seleka mob. They didn’t make it. Two shots. Two more bodies. You may say they were lucky just to be quickly murdered.

At the main hospital Medecins san Frontieres appeal for more foreign charities to get here and help. The place is over-run. Machete and bullet casualties line every corridor and the paths outside. We never even filmed in the wards as such. There’s a large tent in the garden. They need at least three more.

“We have had enough. This has got to stop. The people of Central Africa have suffered too much,” says Arsene, sitting next to a friend whose head and face are invisible inside bandaging.

Just another “balle perdue” – stray bullet.

Read more: Central African Republic – suffering ‘beyond imagination’

Another person, Prisca adds: “No, no, no, no, we are not safe here. The French are not in here. They cannot protect us.”

Yards away and seconds later, a gang of Seleka, all khaki uniforms and at least one dagger, swagger along the corridor looking for someone.

Incredibly, Seleka guard the main entrance. Many clearly either drunk or stoned, openly threatening us with machetes. We press on, asking Col Ibrahim Younis why they kill their own people.

“No no,” he replies. “We don’t kill anyone and never did. It’s not true. Not true. That’s not Seleka.”

The truth is different, bloody and brutal. The hatred deep. Back at the hotel, a local colleague working here patiently explains how the Moslem Seleka have no place in mostly Christian CAR.

“So where should they go?”┬áhe is asked.

“They must be got rid of,” he replies, matter-of-fact.

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