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April 16, 2013

UN: Central African Republic Security Deteriorating

by VOA News

The United Nations says it is alarmed by the "rapidly deteriorating" security situation in the Central African Republic following last month's coup d'etat. 
 
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says there has been a wide range of alleged rights violations, including rapes and at least 119 killings since March 24, when rebels from the Seleka alliance overthrew longtime CAR President Francois Bozize 
 
Pillay said 20 of those killings have occurred in recent days, prompting a separate statement from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging authorities to restore the rule of law.
 
Authorities in the capital, Bangui, said civilian mobs angered about looting blamed on the new regime have killed seven unarmed Seleka fighters since Saturday.  General Ousmane Mehamat said the fighters had been deliberately disarmed by military police in a push to restore calm in a volatile northern neighborhood of the capital.
 
Reuters news agency quotes Seleka gunmen as saying they launched a reprisal raid on Tuesday.  There were no immediate reports of casualties. 
 
U.N. officials say about 37,000 people already have fled the CAR to escape the violence and tens of thousands more are displaced internally.
 
The Seleka rebel coalition is a loose alliance of rebel groups from the north that began an offensive in December, saying the government had not held up its end of the 2007 peace accords.