- Rest in peace May 13
French photojournalist Camille Lepage has been found dead in the Central African Republic, French President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement Tuesday.
"The corpse of Lepage was found after a patrol by (French) Sangaris troops stopped a car driven by anti-Balaka groups, in the Bouar region," the statement said. Officials are investigating the circumstances of Lepage's death.
Lepage was just 26 years old and had recently relocated to South Sudan. She was interested in capturing populations in the margins, abandoned by their government, according to her website.
This is likely what led her to the Central African Republic, a fragile nation on the brink of genocide. After a coup in January, the country's minority Muslim factions are being forced into camps by Christian militia groups known as "anti-Balaka." Peacekeepers have been deployed, but the violence is ongoing and the situation is increasingly risky for international workers, reports Slate.
In South Sudan, Lepage photographed the sick, injured, and ostracized. In the Central African Republic, according to photos posted on her Facebook page, she took this keen eye and compassion to the Muslim camps to capture those living on the edge of society.
Her work is thoughtful and effortlessly striking, and it's clear that she had talent well beyond her years. Below are a selection of her photos and captions she wrote herself. --Lauren Hansen
Posted on February 20, 2014: A quiet picture to illustrate the dire situation of the Muslim population in Bangui and elsewhere in the Central African Republic. The Muslims have been targeted by the non-Muslim community for weeks: lynching after lynching, the Muslims fled to the airport where they are protected by the African Union Army and the French Army. They wait to be taken to Chad, where the government have offered them shelter. They will leave everything behind... | (Camille Lepage / Hans Lucas - All rights reserved 2014 via Facebook.com)
Posted on February 16, 2004: As a French soldier targets an agitator behind a house, two local sellers hide in their shop. Today in PK12, Bangui, Central African Republic, the French troops intervene to break barricades set up at the entry gate of the capital by the youth to stop humanitarian help from reaching the Muslims displaced by the violence one kilometer away. | (Camille Lepage / Hans Lucas - All rights reserved 2014 via Facebook.com)
Posted on Nov. 18, 2013: In Bossangoa, Central African Republic, about 35,000 Internally Displaced People have fled their village because of the violence carried out either by the Seleka, the rebel group that took power in March 2013 in the country or by the 'Anti-Balaka', an auto defense group that created itself in response to the Seleka's violence. (Camille Lepage / Hans Lucas - All Rights Reserved 2013 via Facebook.com)
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