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CAR: “I ducked down and a bullet grazed my head”

09 Jun 2017

On 8 May, a massacre took place in Alindao, Central African Republic (CAR), during which 133 people were killed and entire neighbourhoods were burned to the ground. Anga is a resident of Alindao, and on the 11th May, he was transferred to the Médecins Sans Frontières  hospital in Bambari, a six-hour drive from Alindao. Armed groups had tried to cut his throat, but, miraculously, he survived. 

“It was 7am. I was entering the slaughterhouse where I work when I heard several shots. After a short while, the shooting hadn’t stopped and I fled to the house of friend. I thought I would take shelter there until the shots stopped, but soon the armed groups arrived and went door to door. They told the women and children to leave, to flee into the forest, and then they came in for the men. 

When they arrived at the house, I was with several other men, and two men started firing. I ducked down and a bullet grazed my head. The other people in the house were shot dead. There were twelve attackers in total, but only two wore military clothes. When I was lying on the ground, protecting myself from the bullets, a man approached me, lifted my head up and slit my throat with a knife. I thought I was dead, but I kept breathing. 

"I pretended to be dead. I had lost a lot of blood. When they left, I opened my eyes and they were setting the house on fire"

They left after the attack but came back later, continued shooting, and searched the pockets of the corpses, including mine. I pretended to be dead. I had lost a lot of blood. When they left, I opened my eyes and they were setting the house on fire. I got up and fled to the forest, leaving the corpses of my friends behind. I spent 48 hours in the forest with other people who had escaped until I was brave enough to try get to the church in Alindao. The International Red Cross arrived and transported the most serious of us to the hospital of Bambari.

Almost every member of my family fled in 2013 to Bria, Bangui or Bangassou. But my wife and my four small daughters are still in Alindao. When I recover, I want to go back and bring my family here to Bambari. Alindao had not experienced this type of massacre since the 2014 crisis.”