UN Secretary-General concerned by violence in Central African Republic
Entire Muslim communities are in flight for life, Ban says, urging for cooperation between international players.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern on Friday over the ongoing humanitarian crisis and violence in the Central African Republic, hinting at more concrete efforts at the UN Security Council.

Ban said: "dark clouds of mass atrocities and sectarian cleansing" loom over the Central African Republic (CAR).

"Public lynchings, mutilations, and other horrendous acts of violence are spreading mayhem and fear," he said. "I am deeply concerned by the cycle of revenge and reprisals. Entire Muslim communities are fleeing for their lives."

France announced its decision on Friday to add 400 more troops to its force in the CAR, in accordance with a recent call by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban said he would bring recommendations on the issue to the Security Council on Tuesday.

Solving the crisis would be "a chance to show that cooperation between the UN, African Union, European Union and others can help the people of the C.A.R. at their time of need," Ban said.

Muslims have been targeted with increasing frequency since January, when Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian who had been serving as mayor of Bangui, was elected president.

Machete-wielding Christian militiamen now roam the Bangui suburbs, often erecting illegal checkpoints in order to identify and lynch Muslims. Recently, a number of Muslims have been lynched in broad daylight and their bodies set on fire.

Christians, who constitute the majority of CAR's population, accuse Muslims of supporting former Seleka rebels, who ousted President Fracois Bozize in March 2013 and were allegedly responsible for burning villages, looting and killing.

Last Modified: 2014-02-15 09:12:15
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