UN highly worried about CAR violence

A series of attacks in remote areas of Central African Republic have forced more than 15 000 people to flee their homes over the past week while at least 130 are feared dead, authorities said on Tuesday.
Among the victims are six UN peacekeepers, marking the deadliest month for the mission since it began in 2014.
The UN high commissioner for human rights warned that the violence in areas previously spared major sectarian bloodshed was “highly worrying.”
“The hard-earned relative calm in Bangui and some of the bigger towns in CAR risks being eclipsed by the descent of some rural areas into increasing sectarian violence, with defenseless civilians – as usual – paying the highest price,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said.
General Balla Keita, commander of the UN mission, said at least 30 people were killed and 32 wounded when militia fighters from a predominantly Christian group known as the anti-Balaka attacked the southeastern town of Bangassou over the weekend.
It was the first death toll given since the attack apart from the confirmation of the peacekeepers’ deaths. Humanitarian agencies have called it impossible to retrieve corpses from the streets because of the ongoing insecurity.
The UN mission noted that “deliberate attacks in Bangassou, with heavy weaponry, seem to be well-planned as the perpetrators made access very difficult by destroying bridges and blocking all accessible roads to town,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary-general.

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