Stories: Central African Republic

  • Blood Diamonds and Religious War: Diamonds and Division

    The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is also rich in natural resources. One of the official mining sectors has collapsed amid the country's ongoing conflict, and now both sides are benefitting from the illicit trade of gold and diamonds. Clashes over control of the many mines have also created religious...

  • An Uncertain Path to Reconciliation

    Lea Lucresse, 28, sat in a line of three dozen people in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic one day in September. She was exhausted and quiet, her eyes downcast. She had recently arrived at the John XXIII center, which opened in April 2013 to serve as a listening post for victims, from her home in Mobaye, a multiple-day trip...

  • Fighting Over the Spoils of War

    Notre Dame des Victoires Church, or NDV, is in a small parish about a 10-minute drive from the city of Bambari in the center of the Central African Republic. A French priest established the Catholic outpost in 1857. There’s a large red brick cathedral, a nearby house where clergy sleep and rows of classrooms where villagers once sent children...

  • Harvest of Fear

    One day in September, Ahmed Adam, 23, sat on the ground in the regional capital, Ndélé, and rolled a cigarette. Adam was restless. Earlier that week he returned from the capital, Bangui, about 400 miles away. He was happy to be home. But with no money or means to buy what he needed to restart his life, he said,...

  • Sectarian Violence Flares in the Central African Republic, Killing At Least 12

    Sectarian fighting has erupted in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, in the city's worst violence since a ceasefire was signed between rival fighters in July. The clashes have reportedly killed at least 12 people, including a UN peacekeeper. This is the first UN death since the organization assumed peacekeeping duties here on September 15...

  • Hanging by a Thread

    On the night of Dec. 5, 2013, Fatou Sall was asleep in the front room of her mud-brick house in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, when she awoke to the sound of her 37-year-old daughter screaming. Sall smelled smoke and ran outside, turning to see her house engulfed in flames. Inside, her daughter and 6-year-old grandchild were...