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November 18, 2013

2 Killed as Violence Erupts in CAR

by VOA News

At least two people were killed in clashes in the Central African Republic in violence that erupted after former members of the Seleka rebel groups killed a leading magistrate and his assistant on Sunday.
 
The country has descended into chaos since northern Seleka rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March, ousting President Francois Bozize. Bozize’s ouster ignited sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians.
 
Seleka leader Michel Djotodia named himself president but agreed to hold elections next year.
 
He officially dissolved the rebel movement, but its members have continued to stage attacks and robberies. Armed gangs, mainly former Seleka loyalists, now dominate outside Bangui.
 
The Central African Republic is rich in gold, diamonds and uranium but decades of instability and the spillover from conflicts in its larger neighbours have left the country mired in crises.
 
The African Union plans to deploy a 3,600-member peacekeeping mission, known as MISCA, in the country. It would incorporate a regional force of 1,100 soldiers on the ground but is unlikely to be operational before 2014.
 
The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution last month asking U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to submit a report within 30 days to outline possible international support to the A.U. peacekeeping mission. It also asked Ban to study the option of transforming MISCA into a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Some information for this report was contributed by Reuters.