Abuses continuing in Central African Republic, ICRC says

March 7, 2014 at 9:11 AM
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BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 7 (UPI) -- Even though the capital is calm, people elsewhere in the Central African Republic are living in fear, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday.

"Despite relative calm in Bangui, the atrocities are continuing," Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in CAR, said in a statement Friday.

Seleka, a Sunni Muslim rebel coalition, overthrew the government in March 2013. 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.

Georgantas said he was calling on all parties to the conflict to respect international laws "so that civilians and people who have stopped fighting, for example because they have been injured or captured, will be spared."

The United Nations and international aid groups said the conflict is straining the region's ability to cope with the refugee crisis. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said nearly 300,000 people have fled violence in the Central African Republic to Chad, Cameroon and Ethiopia.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, said Friday security was improving in parts of the country, though members of the Muslim community have said they still fear for their lives.

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