African force defends security role in CAR

Feb. 24, 2014 at 1:09 PM
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BANGUI, Central African Republic, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- An African peacekeeping force in Central African Republic said it was working to ensure members of the minority Muslim population are protected.

The African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic, known by its French initials MISCA, said the Muslim community in the western city of Bossangoa is receiving adequate protection.

It said in a statement Sunday the city was under MISCA's control.

"To date, the town has been freed from armed groups and criminals who were causing mayhem to the local population," the mission said.

Seleka, a Sunni Muslim rebel coalition, overthrew the government in March. Former President Michel Djotodia eventually lost control of the rebel force and the conflict took a turn for the worse when anti-balaka, a Christian militia, took up arms against its Muslim rivals.

Navi Pillay, the top human rights official for the United Nations, said last week that while Seleka continued to target the Christian population, anti-balaka was behind most of the violence.

The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into CAR violence in early February.

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