19:46 GMT +308 December 2019
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    French Sangaris forces patrol in muslim district of PK 5 in Bangui as people go to the polls to take part in the Central African Republic second round of the presidential and legislative elections on February 14, 2016

    UN Calls for End to Targeted Attacks on Civilians in Central Africa

    © AFP 2019 / ISSOUF SANOGO
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    The spike of targeted violence against civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR) is as alarming as it is dangerous and must be put to an end, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said in a statement.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Dieng stated on Friday that "this kind of targeted violence is extremely dangerous and must be stopped."

    Dieng explained that as a result of violent clashes between the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) civilians are being targeted based on their ethnicity or religion.

    Since November 21, some 85 civilians have reportedly been killed, 76 wounded and almost 11,000 displaced, Dieng noted.

    Peacekeepers of the UN mission to the Central African Republic, better known by its acronym MINUSCA, have reinforced existing measures to protect civilians.

    Dieng welcomed the progress toward establishing the Special Criminal Court in the country to investigate serious violations of international humanitarian law since 2003.

    The Central African Republic has been suffering from sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians since a 2013 coup, when Muslim Seleka rebels seized control in the majority-Christian nation, overthrowing President Francois Bozize, who had ruled the country since 2003.

    Thousands were killed in the ensuing violence and about 20 percent of the population fled their homes. Two successive interim governments, as well as thousands of UN peacekeepers, have struggled to stop the fighting and disarm militias since the conflict begun.

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    civilians, violence, targeted killing, Central African Republic
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