Appeal for "thousands" more peacekeepers in CAR as situation deteriorates

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UN peacekeepers. UN Photo/Marie Frechon

Thousands more peacekeepers and police officers are urgently needed in the Central African Republic (CAR) following the further deterioration of the security situation there.

The appeal made earlier by the UN Secretary-General, is now being echoed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

During Tuesday's briefing to the press in Geneva, Cécile Pouilly of OHCHR said that since 22 March, at least 60 people have been killed.

"A series of clashes between anti-Balaka and Muslims have taken place in various neighbourhoods of the capital in the previous week. On 27 March, at least 20 people had been killed and 11 injured when a grenade had been thrown at a crowd of mourners during a funeral service near the PK5 neighbourhood. On 22 and 23 March, anti-Balaka elements had attacked the same neighbourhood, where some 700 Muslims were believed to be stranded." (31″)

According to the Red Cross, at least 15 people had been killed during the subsequent fighting and the intervention of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and the French Intervention Force in CAR executing "Operation Sangari".

Increased tensions and clashes between anti-Balaka elements and MISCA forces had also been reported, with anti-Balaka reportedly directly targeting MISCA military and civilian personnel on several occasions.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’35″

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