Saturday, May 12, 2012
About the Investigation of the Crime Scene and the Riot in Bakouma
About 50 days ago Erik Mararv and David Simpson were arrested in central african republic after discovering 13 bodies, killed by the LRA on the cawa safari hunting concession. Erik is a friend of mine since we grew up together in CAR. I also joined Erik when he decided to start CAWA safari in 2006 and I have worked with him since.
The LRA presence in CAR has been well known since years back but their activity in the eastern part of the country has accumulated the last year. To get a clear understanding about the situation I now post this story from Erik, in his own words.
Please link to this post so that we can spread the word and work together to get them out of jail!
Here are Erik’s words about what happened on the ground and where those rumors came from:
" When David came down to the place where the people had been killed and found six bodies, he called me and explained the situation. While he was standing on the spot, close to the six bodies, four people from Bakouma just arrived in order to search for gold. While not hearing any noise in the area and seeing the deserted camp they became supicious, and started to slowly walk the river upwards, only to catch sight of David and six other guys standing in the river bed a bit up-ahead. One of these four people got afraid and ran away. The three others stayed, and were finally seen by some of our people who called them over. Once it had been cleared out that both partied were as stunned about what they had found, David decided to bing the three guys back to our hunting camp for the night in order to await the military and the police the next day (whom I had just called at this time). Now the problem was that the fourth person who had run away, never was found even though David and the team went around calling his name. It later turned out he had run back to Bakouma, arriving the next day in the evening.
So the following day, the military came. We accompanied them to the place, made a very hasty investigation which lasted for approximately 30 minutes until the leutennant, who was leading the mission, decided that the area was too dangerous to stay in and ordered everybody to evacuate ASAP. I objected and said we should walk around the proximity of the site and try to find more tracks, since surely it must have been a large group of people in order to kill 13 young men. My objections were in vain.
Some photos were taken with the militaries’ mobile phones, and in most photos the militaries posted themselves by the side of the killed people, making it look like trophy pictures…!! Something I found terribly awkward and discusting.
Anyway, the military having done their “investigation”, rushed back to Bakouma, arriving the same night as the previously mentionned fourth person, who had run away. Now this person, naturally shocked, started running around Bakouma shouting that he was the only one out of four who had survived an attack from the “white safari people” and that the other three were killed. And that all people on the mining field had certainly been killed by the “white safari people” as well….
This stirred up the people in Bakouma, who in the early morning arranged for a mob who directly went to our warehouse which was burned, the truck was burned as well, and all material and diesel looted. By this time, the fact that the three guys he had run away from had come back together with the militray was not relevant… and people did not really care anymore. 13 people were dead and somebody needed to take the blow. Automatically, we were the wrong people at the wrong place in the wrong time…"