Exclusive report: Central African Republic descends into chaos
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Left to the mercy of armed groups who terrorise the population, the Central African Republic is descending into violence while its new government looks on hopelessly. Our reporters, Etienne Huver and Boris Heger, travelled to Bossangoa in the country’s northwest where the Muslim Séléka rebels have fatally clashed with mainly Christian vigilante groups.
We accompanied the first UN convoy to go to Bossangoa, a town in the northwest of the Central African Republic. Bossangoa is cut off from the world, with no electricity or phone lines. This is where the conflict has been the deadliest.
On our journey north, we travelled through dozens of villages that had been completely deserted. In one of them, at least six civilians had been killed.
When we arrived in Bossangoa, we discovered a town divided into Muslim and Christian communities. The various armed groups that clash in the countryside do not hesitate to attack civilians from all sides. The situation is extremely tense and can escalate at any moment.
Only the presence of African soldiers ensures basic security. One hundred and fifty soldiers are deployed in the town and are trying to keep the peace between the different communities.
But the humanitarian situation is of increasing concern. For over two weeks, several thousand people have been living clustered around the bishop's palace in appalling sanitary conditions. There is a shortage of food and medicine. NGOs have considerable difficulty in reaching the area due to the increasingly dangerous security situation.
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