In brief: Muslims flee to Chad under armed guard
Bangui, Central African Republic – Thousands of Muslims climbed aboard trucks protected by heavily armed Chadian soldiers in a mass exodus Friday from the capital of Central African Republic. Their flight follows months of escalating attacks on anyone perceived as supporting a now-defunct Muslim rebel government blamed for scores of atrocities during its rule of this predominantly Christian country.
In The Hague, Netherlands, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced a preliminary investigation into potential war crimes or crimes against humanity in Central African Republic, saying the crisis has “gone from bad to worse” since September.
Along the streets of Bangui, crowds of Christians gathered to cheer the convoy’s departure for the neighboring country of Chad, which is mostly Muslim. It was an acrid farewell to their Muslim neighbors who had in some cases lived alongside Christians for generations here and have few ties to Chad.
Unrest in Bosnia triggers fires, chaos
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Anti-government protesters stormed into the Bosnian presidency and another government building in Sarajevo and set them ablaze Friday as riot police fired tear gas in a desperate attempt to stop them.
Smoke was rising from several Bosnian cities as thousands vented their fury over the Balkan nation’s almost 40 percent unemployment and its rampant corruption. It was the worst social unrest the country has seen since the 1992-95 war that killed more than 100,000 people following Yugoslavia’s dissolution.
As night was falling Friday, downtown Sarajevo was in chaos, with buildings and cars burning and riot police in full gear chasing protesters and pounding batons against their shields to get the crowd to disperse.
Nearly 200 people were injured throughout the country in clashes with police, medical workers reported.
British leader pleads for Scots ‘to stay’
London – British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday delivered an impassioned speech urging the English, Welsh and Northern Irish to tell Scots, “We want you to stay.”
In his most high-profile speech on Scottish independence to date, Cameron said he “could not bear” to see Britain torn apart if Scots chose to leave in the referendum due to take place in September.
In the latest YouGov opinion poll for the Sun tabloid, 34 percent of Scots said they would vote yes to independence while 52 percent said they would vote no.