UN chief condemns armed attacks by rebels in Central African Republic

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The armed attacks launched by rebel fighters on several towns in the Central African Republic have been strongly condemned by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The rebels are reported to have advanced towards the capital, Bangui, prompting the United Nations to temporarily relocate its non-essential staff from the country.

In a statement issued late on Wednesday, Mr. Ban says he deeply regrets the loss of life and population displacement caused by the fighting.

He warns that the offensive by the coalition of rebel groups known as "SELEKA" gravely undermines the peace process and the efforts of the international community to consolidate peace in the country.

He appeals to all parties in the Central African Republic to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence.

The Secretary-General also calls on the warring parties to ensure the protection of civilians and to respect human rights.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 53″

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