Amid the Violence: Central African Republic’s Looted Storefronts

Jerome Delay—AP
Jerome Delay—AP
A Muslim-owned copy center stands looted in the Miskin district of Bangui.

Central African Republic has been wracked by inter-communal violence since Muslim Séléka militias seized power after ousting President François Bozizé in March 2013. Clashes between the Séléka forces and Christian vigilante anti-balaka (or “anti-machete”) factions continue as French and African Union forces struggle to contain the bloodshed.

Jerome Delay’s images of looted Muslim-owned stores in Bangui, the country’s capital, provide an unsettlingly quiet look at the results of the ongoing conflict. The photographs show stores on the avenue leading to the PK5 neighborhood of the city — all of which have been looted over the past two days.

Jerome Delay—AP

Jerome Delay—AP

A newly enlisted Central African Armed Forces soldier stabs the lifeless body of a suspected Muslim Seleka militiaman moments after Central African Republic Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza addressed the troops in Bangui, Feb. 5, 2014.

Jerome Delay, Chief Africa photographer for the AP, describes the incident in a note to TIME and offers a stark warning: "Today I met the Devil. In a scene Quentin Tarantino would not have dreamed scripting, I saw a man killed. Butchered. By his fellow countrymen. His mistake was to be named Idris and to be Muslim. What was first an orderly cheering crowd happy to hear they were finally going to get paid, turned in an instant into a tidal wave of barbarism.The VIPs had barely left. We have reached the point of no return in sectarian violence."

MORE: Soldiers Lynch Suspected Rebel After Ceremony for National Unity


Jerome Delay is the Africa Chief Photographer of the Associated Press. He previously wrote for LightBox about Mali’s invisible war.

Richard Conway is Reporter/Producer for TIME LightBox. Follow him on twitter @RichardJConway


Related Topics: , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Japan, Okuma, 2014.Inside the Central Control Room for Reactor 1 and 2 which both had a meltdown and exploded after the earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of japan in 2011.

See Inside Fukushima’s Lethal Reactor

Photographer Dominic Nahr documented an exclusive tour of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and spent three years documenting life in Japan's Fukushima prefecture, the northeastern region devastated by a nuclear melt down following an earthquake and a tsunami in March 2011.

Read More
Before We Land

Photographer Captures Sweet Moments of Summer

Missouri race riot

Inside Ferguson With Photographers From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,483 other followers