THE situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is
"extremely precarious", charities say, after reports that the
ceasefire signed last week between the largely Muslim Seleka rebel
group and the Christian anti-Balaka militias has already broken
The charity Tearfund has been working in the area, where a
quarter of the population - 4.6 million people - have been forced
from their homes since the fighting broke out after Seleka rebels
seized power last year. Thousands have been killed.
The ceasefire agreement was signed by representatives from both
sides in Brazzaville, Congo, after three days of talks, during
which the Seleka rebels dropped demands for the country to be split
on religious lines. But immediately there were reports that
fighting had broken out again in volatile areas.
Katie Harris, from Tearfund, has just returned from the CAR. "We
know the ceasefire is very precarious, and, in some areas, fighting
has carried on," she said. "But it is a start, and the fact that
the ceasefire was signed is answer to prayer, and we thank God for
"The rule of law in the country has completely broken down, and
the people we are working with -many of them women who have been
raped - have nowhere to go for justice. Many of their husbands have
been killed, or have fled.
"We are so grateful to the British public who have responded to
our appeal for the CAR so generously. We are working with displaced
people, those who have fled their homes, and helping women to get
the medical attention they need."
One of those women helped by Tearfund described her trauma: "I
ran for a long time to try to get away, but . . . they kept on
shooting to stop me. . . the three of them raped me until I lost
Tearfund's appeal has so far raised almost half a million