Christians, Muslims Clash in Central African Republic

One year ago, an alliance of Muslim rebel groups within Central African Republic (CAR), calling itself Seleka, launched an effort to overthrow the government. The majority of the country's population is Christian, with only 10 to 15 percent identifying as Muslim, but Seleka's campaign was successful. The rebels began by capturing small towns, and by March, they had seized the capital, Bangui. Throughout 2013, members of the Muslim Seleka groups reportedly launched waves of attacks on civilians in Christian areas, looting, raping, and and killing at will. In the past few months, Christian militias have emerged, calling themselves "anti-balaka," or anti-machete. Their actions have gone beyond self-defense, spilling into vicious reprisals against Muslim neighbors and others they view as complicit. More than a thousand people in CAR have been killed in the past month alone. Foreign soldiers form the African Union and France have quickly built up a presence, hoping to fend off a feared genocide.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Gennady Teplitskiy / Shutterstock

    2017: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • David Swindler / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

    Winners of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    Winning images and honorable mentions from the four categories: Wildlife, Landscapes, Aerials, and Underwater.

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 12/2–12/10

    California wildfires, the Sankta Lucia Festival of Light in England, a snowy football game in New York, Glasgow's annual Santa Dash, and much more.

  • Susana Vera / Reuters

    Hopeful Images From 2017

    After another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

Join the Discussion