UPDATE: OCTOBER 31, 2016
We received an update from Tom Peters this morning, October 31. Tom is our Country Coach for Central African Republic and is on the ground in the midst of the current fighting.
The Muslim-held area of Bangui (called “Cinq Kilometres”, or “Five Kilometers”) had some very intense fighting last night. On the plus side, it was one Muslim faction fighting against another Muslim faction, so it was contained to that precinct. According to what we heard on the radio this morning, at least 10 people were killed. Some reports indicate that two major Muslim leaders—one from each side—may have been killed in the fighting, but that has not been confirmed. From where I’m staying, all I heard was one loud boom of some kind of mortar going off. The rest of the town was pretty normal throughout today.
So far Tom and our local CAR staff are safe, but the fighting continues on in the city. Tom will be there for another several days. Please continue to pray. Thank you!
ORIGINAL POST: OCTOBER 27, 2016
Once again, the Central African Republic (CAR) needs prayers for peace and Godly protection.
We received this short message from Tom Peters, the VisionTrust Country Coach for CAR, earlier this week:
I woke up at 6:00 this morning to gunfire in the distance. It’s now 8:00 am and the sporadic gunfire continues… Some of the gunfire has been closer as time rolls on. As you can see from the pic (above), the roads have some barricades set up to try and prevent lots of traffic. About the only vehicles I’ve seen were two UN armored personnel carriers.
I’ve heard a couple of different stories about what’s up. One is that some of the bodies from the massacre about ten days ago up north in Kaga Bandoro were brought to Bangui and dumped in the Muslim area of town. The reaction of the general non-Muslim populace is that they want to march in protest today, and the government doesn’t want them to, thus the gunfire. Another story is that the people want to march to demonstrate their displeasure with the UN troops being here, with the hope that it will communicate to get the UN troops out.
VisionTrust has been working with nearly 600 orphaned children in CAR from 2-20 years old since 2004. In 2013, our Country Director died as a result of similar ongoing conflict.
Please pray for Tom, our VisionTrust CAR staff and children, and our friends at the guest house where Tom is staying during this time. Thank you.