Men brandish machetes and knives to threaten Muslim people in Bangui, Central Africa Republic on January 12, 2014. Reports of cannibalism emerged in the desperately poor country after a Muslim man was allegedly killed by a Christian mob and eaten by one of them. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
Reports of cannibalism emerged in Central African Republic on Monday amid sectarian violence between Christian militias and Muslim fighters.
A Muslim man was killed by a Christian mob in the country’s capital Bangui, and one of them publicly ate from the dead man’s charred flesh, according to Paul Wood, who reported for CBC News from Bangui.
A video shot by bystanders appears to show a charred body being dragged through the street while the crowd cheered. Another video shows the mob leader, identified as Wanja Mogloire, eating one of the dead man’s legs, his cheeks full to bulging.
Magloire, who told Wood that he is now known as Mad Dog Magloire for what he did, said he was angry after Muslims killed several members of his family and he wanted revenge.
While most Christians were horrified by the apparent act of cannibalism, Magloire was viewed as a hero by some. A small group shook Magloire’s hand and patted his head.
The grisly incident is the latest setback for the desperately poor country, after repeated clashes killed more than 1,000 people.
The violence has also uprooted almost a million people, or one-fifth of the population.
Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who seized control of the country in March with the help of thousands of fighters, stepped down last week following growing international pressure. He is now seeking exile in Benin, according to officials from the two countries.
His departure was initially met with celebrations, although sporadic violence and looting occurred overnight in Bangui.