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Several Adventists killed during political unrest in Central African Republic

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Several Adventists killed during political unrest in Central African Republic

Emeryc Patrick Dalikouba was killed by gunfire in Central African Republic last month, one of more than 1,000 victims of ongoing civil unrest in the nation in the past six weeks. [photo courtesy CAUM]

Nation had spiraled into violence; new female president elected yesterday

January 21, 2014 | Yaoundé, Cameroon | Abraham Bakari/ANN staff

A Seventh-day Adventist was killed by gunfire in Central African Republic last month, the latest of several Adventist victims of sectarian violence in the nation.

Emeryc Patrick Dalikouba, 21, the son of an Adventist pastor, was gunned down on December 21 outside his father’s home.

Jean Jacques Gueret, president of the Adventist Church in the country, said Dalikouba was “a young, vibrant man engaged in the movement of Adventist Youth.”

Gueret said three other Adventist young adults were killed last April.

Adventists have not participated in the civil unrest between Christian and Muslim groups, Gueret said.

Violence began in the former French colony last March after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition installed their leader, Michel Djotodia, as the country’s ruler. The move prompted attacks by Christian militia. More than 1,000 people have died just in the past six weeks, The New York Times reported.

Since then, Djotodia stepped down earlier this month, and a transitional parliament on Monday elected the capital city of Bangui’s mayor Catherine Samba-Panza as interim president, the nation’s first female head of state.

More than 886,000 people have been displaced by the violence and some 86,000 have sought refuge in neighboring countries, The Wall Street Journal reported. The United Nations has designated Central African Republic as one of the top three current humanitarian emergencies, which also include Syria and the Philippines.

“We are praying for the newly elected leadership of this country,” said Gueret, the Adventist Church president in the nation. “We are all wanting the violence to stop.”

There are 10,600 Adventist Church members in the nation of approximately 4.6 million.

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