GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Friday she was troubled by the latest reports of massacres in the Central African Republic.
"There is an urgent need for the restoration of the rule of law in the Central African Republic," she said in a statement. "Unless immediate action is taken, both by the authorities and by the international community, there is a clear risk that the situation will degenerate rapidly and inexorably into a full-blown conflict."
The republic descended into violence when the rebel Seleka government ousted President Francois Bozize in March.
Pillay said she heard reports of massacres of "mostly women and children" in late October clashes in a village near Bouar, a western town near Cameroon. She said at least 20 civilians were killed and another 10,000 were displaced by fighting between rebel forces and a self-defense militia known as anti-Balaka.
The level of violence reported in late October was "extremely worrying," Pillay said.
The U.N.'s World Food Program said in a separate statement Friday as many as 1.1 million people in the Central African Republic are at risk of going hungry because of agricultural and economic problems associated with the violence.