Soldiers in the Central African Republic lynched a man they believed to be an ex-rebel, minutes after hearing the new president pledge to restore security as she reinstated the country’s army.
At a ceremony in the capital Bangui, President Catherine Samba-Panza praised an armed force that had effectively disappeared from view during nine months of rule by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.
“Within a month, I would like to secure the majority of the country,” she said. “Everyone will be responsible for their acts. I am warning troublemakers who continue to sow disorder.”
Despite the presence of peace keepers, Samba-Panza faces a challenge.
Christian militias formed after abuses by the mainly Muslim rebels, have waged a revenge cycle of bloodshed. The inter-religious violence has left over 2,000 people dead according to the United Nations.
And no sooner had the president spoken and left to a round of applause, than some troops showed reconciliation was the last thing on their minds.
In front of dozens of witnesses, including journalists, a group of soldiers lynched a man they believed to be a former rebel with Seleka, which was disbanded after Samba-Panza’s inauguration last month.
His lifeless body was then dragged nearly naked through the streets before reportedly being dismembered and set on fire.