Today, they mark the fine line between life and death for hundreds of Muslims living under siege, encircled by Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militia fighters bent on chasing out the country’s Muslim population.
“We live in a prison,” said Adou Kone, a tailor. “Everything is blocked, nothing comes in. It’s very expensive to buy food … Our life is at a critical stage.”
“We can wait for 10 years for them to leave – and if they don’t leave, we will still be there, holding our positions,” said Captain Dopani Firmin, the ‘anti-balaka’ chief in Boda, wearing a red Paris St Germain football shirt.
“We cannot accept to live together with Muslims, long-term,” Firmin said. “It’s our right to kill Muslims…”