During violence in Bangui, the largest city and capital in the Central African Republic, a boy has been shot on his way to school. He is currently being held in a UNICEF supported hospital.
UNICEF are a charitable organization who promote the rights and well being of every child in 190 countries and territories, with a special focus on helping those with the maximum needs.
The 17-year-old made a statement saying, “It happened on my way to school. I was walking fast, I did not want to be late. I did not know what was happening in town.” He said that this is the “first time something like this happened to me, to us. I’m worried for my family, my friends, my country.”
Inhabitants of Bangui have been confined to their homes in fear since the explosion of violence by opposing religious followers. Christian vigilantes (anti-Balaka), retaliated against their antagonists Séléka, who are an alliance of mainly Muslim rebels.
Both the aggressors and Muslim civilians were targeted, as revenge was sought for Séléka-instigated volatility. Hundreds have been killed and many left injured, like the Central African Republic school boy who has been shot, for being nothing more than an innocent bystander, to the problems that the country is encountering.
The Central African Repubic airport saw thousands take refuge from the violence, with nearly 700 fleeing into the bordering Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been one year since the violence between Christian and Muslim communities in Bangui erupted, and since then nearly 400,000 people have been displaced, with another 69,800 forced to emigrate into neighboring countries.
As the Central African Republic sees an innocent boy shot on the way to school, concerns for the children in the county rise. It has called attention to the lack of safety for someone simply going about their daily routine. Young children are becoming more aware of the dangers that surround them living in this country. This has resulted in a fear not only for their own lives, but also their loved ones. Reports are currently being analyzed about the suffering endured by children due to concerns about danger and instability.
It has been reported that Ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka have been raiding homes and killing innocent children, as well as adults. BINUCA, the UN political operation within the country, has urged the need for this cycle of violence to end, and to implement action for the protection of civilians. All parties have been pushed to restrain retaliation and instigation of brutality. People who are found to be actively participating in such crimes have been threatened with condemnation brought by the system of justice.
Human rights have been demolished through these armed clashes in Bangui. A transitional government has been assigned the task of reinstating law and order, since the President was forced to leave. However, violent attacks have increased and the country faces a “dire humanitarian situation.”
As the Central African Republic sees a boy shot on the way to school, the threat towards the people of Bangui is made clear. As more deaths occur, the path towards stabilization becomes curved, and answers to the problem remain unresolved. The children of the country are at great risk for harm, as evidenced by a boy shot on his way to school. Organizations like UNICEF continue to provide as much aid as possible.
By Melissa McDonald