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December 19, 2013

Escalating Violence in the Central African Republic

Christian militias responding to rampant abuses by Muslim armed groups have committed atrocities against Muslim communities in northern Central African Republic. Concerned countries should immediately bolster the African Union peacekeeping force in the country and support efforts by France to protect civilians. Photographs by Marcus Bleasdale/VII

Escalating Violence in the Central African Republic

Christian militias responding to rampant abuses by Muslim armed groups have committed atrocities against Muslim communities in northern Central African Republic. Concerned countries should immediately bolster the African Union peacekeeping force in the country and support efforts by France to protect civilians. Human RIghts Watch has documented the surge in violence by Christian anti-balaka (“anti-machete”) militias since September 2013. The anti-balaka have killed several hundred Muslims, burned their homes, and stolen their cattle. So-called ex-Seleka forces, former members of the predominantly Muslim rebel alliance that overthrew the government in March, retaliated against Christians with the apparent knowledge of their commanders. The ex-Seleka forces wreaked revenge on Christian residents, killing many and setting fire to their homes. They also attacked Christian farmers working in their fields.

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