Bangui (AFP) – The killings between Christians and Muslims have ” over 600 people ” in a week in Central Africa by the United Nations, France alarmed by the sudden worsening of the violence despite the intervention of the army.
” Fighting and inter- religious violence of the past week have killed 450 people ” in Bangui and made 160 killed in other parts of the country , said Friday a spokesman for UNHCR , citing reviews of the Central African Red Cross and the Danish refugee Council .
The agency also reported 159,000 displaced people in the capital alone , spread over forty sites around the airport , churches and mosques.
December 5 , self-defense militias infiltrated the Christian population had launched an offensive in Bangui on the positions of the former rebels of the predominantly Muslim Seleka ( in power) and Muslim neighborhoods . The attack resulted in the bloody reprisals Seleka fighters on the overwhelmingly Christian population of the capital.The violence had precipitated military intervention by France , launched the same evening after a green light from the UN , and mobilizes nearly 1,600 troops deployed mainly in Bangui.
Despite this intervention, ” the spiral of confrontation is abruptly worsened , adding to the security crisis the beginnings of a humanitarian crisis,” admitted Friday the French defense minister , Jean- Yves Le Drian, came to visit Bangui two days after President François Hollande .On Monday, the French troops had undertaken a comprehensive disarmament, beginning with the former rebels , but the operation was accompanied by Christian reprisals against Muslim communities.
” Vicious circle of attacks ”
The toll of violence should have to rise as more bodies are found each day in the neighborhoods and in the bush, according to the UN .Thus , 27 Muslims were killed Thursday by Christian militia in a village in the region of Bouar (west), Bohong , as the High Commissioner for Human Rights .Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani also described “the pursuit of a vicious circle of attacks and reprisals ” in other cities like Bouca , Bossangoa and Bozoum .
The High Commissioner said he was ” alarmed by the growing tensions between religious communities in Central Africa ,” calling their leaders ” to contain intolerance and violence.”The transitional Prime Minister , Nicolas Tiangaye , also called for an end killings ” as soon as possible ” , regretting on France 24 that ” religious communities have always lived together in perfect harmony begin today to massacre each other . ”
On the humanitarian front, UN agencies , accused of inaction by NGOs, responded Friday.The World Food Program began its first food distribution to 45,000 displaced near Bangui airport under the supervision of French soldiers, AFP noted . Around 1600 , when the night falls at 17.30 , the crowd exceeded by the long wait brimmed stewards , looting food that should be distributed without touching the trucks should continue to work on Saturday.
In Geneva , UNICEF promised on Friday “the greatest air supply of humanitarian goods since the outbreak of violence last week in Bangui ” with sending 77 tonnes for immediate distribution.In the city, life began to resume with the opening of banks, but gunfire and clashes between armed men are still common in parts of the capital .
Arrived at dawn in Bangui, Mr. Le Drian warned against risks ” anarchy ” , stressing that the situation could ” destabilize the entire region by attracting criminals and terrorist groups.”He reminded the French soldiers that their mission was to ” curb abuses , religious excesses , allow the return of humanitarian and deployment of basic state structures .”
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