Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Central African Republic: Satellite Images Reveal Systematic Destruction of Muslim Neighborhoods

Source: Human Rights Watch
Dispatches: Satellite Images Reveal Systematic Destruction of Muslim Neighborhoods
Josh Lyons

On April 27, 2014, heavily armed African peacekeepers evacuated the last remaining 1,300 Muslims in the PK12 neighborhood of Bangui, in the strife-torn Central African Republic. Mobs immediately began looting and destroying the neighborhood's mosque, shops, and homes, perpetuating a now familiar trend.

Satellite imagery recorded over the capital city provides a grim picture of the scale of the destruction since January 2014. As depicted in the map below, Human Rights Watch identified the skeletal remains of over 4,000 homes, shops, and mosques destroyed during several waves of organized violence, systematic looting, and arson during this time.

Damage to buildings in the center of the city is heavily concentrated in the neighborhoods of Kilometre 5, Kokoro, Miskine, and Bouca, all neighborhoods that had predominantly Muslim residents. In the north of the city, almost 2,000 mostly residential buildings have been gutted and stripped of their roofs, with some of the stolen materials sold in neighborhoods around PK12 and PK13. The satellite images below, comparing images taken in October 2013 and March 2014, show the extent of the destruction.

Map of Major Damage Sites