is being defended by government forces backed by UN, Russian and Rwandan troops.
CAR is one of Africa's poorest and most unstable countries, even though it is rich in resources such as diamonds and uranium. The UN estimates that about half the population is dependent on humanitarian aid. There is daily fighting across the country. At least 12,000 peacekeepers are already on the ground in the CAR.
92,000 refugees had fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and more than 13,000 had crossed into Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Congo. It said the rest were displaced within the CAR. UNHCR, told reporters that rebel attacks had hampered humanitarian access to Bangui and that many people were now facing "dire conditions". Disease was growing and some of those displaced were so desperate they were exchanging sex for food, spokesman Boris Cheshirkov added.