This week, while the world paused to remember the 800,000 lives that were lost 20 years ago during the Rwandan genocide, violence rages in nearby Central African Republic. Following decades of weak governance, the Seleka militia seized the capital in March 2013 and ousted the President.
Since this time, CAR has descended into lawlessness and violence as the Seleka forces have proven difficult to control. Predominantly Muslim, these forces have committed grave human rights abuses against civilians throughout the country and have especially targeted the majority Christian population. In response, Christian self-defense groups, known as Anti-Balaka, formed with the goal of defending vulnerable communities, but in turn began reprisal attacks that forced the displacement of Muslim communities.