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Dublin: 0 °C Saturday 19 April, 2014

Central African Republic is ‘on verge of genocide’

“You have seven surgeons for a population of five million, an infant mortality rate of 25 per cent… and 1.5 million people who have nothing”.

Rebel soldiers from the Seleka alliance in Bangui, Central African Republic.
Rebel soldiers from the Seleka alliance in Bangui, Central African Republic.
Image: AP Photo

FRANCE HAS WARNED that the Central African Republic is “on the verge of genocide”, as the UN considers sending thousands of peacekeepers to the strife-torn country.

“It’s total disorder,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France 2 television today, adding that the United Nations was considering authorising African and French troops to intervene in the country.

“You have seven surgeons for a population of five million, an infant mortality rate of 25 per cent in some areas and 1.5 million people who have nothing, not even food, and armed gangs, bandits, etc,” he said.

The former French colony, an impoverished country rich in natural resources, has faced growing chaos since a coalition of rebels known as Seleka staged a coup in March, forcing president Francois Bozize to flee.

The transitional government has lost the grip on the large country of 4.5 million people, with retaliatory attacks between Muslims and Christians on the rise.

Sanctions

The United States today called for sanctions against the leaders of strife in Central African Republic.

The call by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, added to international concern over anarchy in Central African Republic.

Power said there must be a “swift deployment” of the full African force. She added, in a comment on her Twitter account, that the international community should be “imposing sanctions on perpetrators of violence.”

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The call came after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced $40 million of financing for the African force. Kerry said the government was failing to control what he called an “increasingly sectarian” crisis.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: Charity tells of “appalling scenes of murder” in Central African Republic >

Read: People of Central African Republic “abandoned” and in need >

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