News coming out of the Central African Republic on Sunday points to a growing fear that a protracted sectarian conflict is coming soon in the war-torn African country.
Newsmen interviewed several militiamen, ragtag young men, armed with clubs, machetes and a few hunting rifles. They have been hiding in the hills among the banana trees on the outskirts of Bangui, the Capital.
It is unclear who is in charge, and while there are divisions in its leadership, it is evident that their numbers are growing. All this is going on, despite there being 1,600 French troops in the capital assigned to keep the peace. The French have been disarming Muslim and Christian citizens, although the militia have succeeded in making it harder for the French to find many weapons.
Christians and Muslims have lived in harmony for years in the Central African Republic. Then in March of this year, Muslim rebels from the northern part of the country, along with mercenaries from Chad and the Sudan stormed and overtook the Capital, Bangui.
Christians felt the Muslim rebels, known as Selaka, and in particular the mercenaries, had targeted them in the attack, fueling a simmering resentment that has given rise to an armed conflict.
On December 5, Christian militiamen stormed the capital. Djotodia's forces pushed the Christian, or as they are known, anti-balaka militiamen back into the bush. Within a week, violence continued as Muslims and Christians battled in the streets, and over 600 people were killed.
Today, the unease in the capital city is almost palpable. Over a quarter of the population has left the city, fearing the continuing violence. Soldiers patrol the streets and for now, everyone is just waiting.