Friday, January 03, 2014

CAR Catastrophe

Violence in Central African Republic has uprooted nearly a million people, a fifth of the population, and is hampering aid efforts, particularly in the capital Bangui, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said. In the capital alone, more than 510,000 people are displaced - equivalent to more than half the city's population, UNHCR said. Just over half of them are children. The number of people sheltering at a makeshift camp at the international airport has doubled in the past week to 100,000. 

A flare-up in violence between Muslim fighters and Christian militias has displaced more than 200,000 people in the past few weeks alone, leaving a total of 935,000 homeless. Some 240,000 refugees have fled to neighboring countries.

The deployment of 1,600 French and nearly 4,000 African Union peacekeepers has done little to contain the tit-for-tat violence between religious communities.

In Bossangoa, some 300 km (190 miles) north of Bangui, most of the town's Christian population have long since left their homes to move into a camp by the town church, housing some 40,000 people.

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