CAR: A Country Plunged Into Sectarian, Humanitarian Crisis

Cecily Hilleary

Published February 12, 2014

Some analysts have cast the conflict as a religious war, part of a greater struggle for Islamist domination of the continent, especially in light of reprisals by Christians against the Muslim population of the CAR. But most analysts believe that it began when political rivals appealed to religious identity to boost political ambitions. In the end, it has pitted religious groups against one another in a brutal conflict that some fear could lead to partitioning the country.

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A woman reacts near the dead body of her sister who was killed during one of the latest incidents of sectarian violence in the 5th Arrondissement of the capital Bangui February 9, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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Christians loot a mosque in Bangui December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

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A mother holds her child while attempting to take cover as repeated gun shots are heard close to Miskine district during continuing sectarian violence in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 28, 2014.

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A man prays while reading verses from the Koran in a hangar at the airport of the capital Bangui January 30, 2014. The hangar is used to shelter internally displaced Muslims fleeing the continuing sectarian violence and those waiting to be evacuated by ai

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Newly parliamentary-elected interim President of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba-Panza walks into the National Assembly prior to her swearing-in ceremony in the capital Bangui January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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French troops of the Sangaris Operation speak to a member of the Anti-Balaka Christian militia who handed over his arms in Bangui on January 25, 2014. The new president of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba Panza set to work to choose members of

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A terrified woman walks down from the bush in the hills 15 Kms (10 miles) outside Bangui, Central African Republic, Friday Jan. 24, 2014, as Rwandan troops tell her to calm down during a weapons search operation. No weapons were found. Christian militiam

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Two women mourn, Feb. 9, 2014, in Bangui the death of two relatives killed in the 5th district, one the of the city's central neighborhoods.

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An Anti-balaka militiaman poses for a photograph in the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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Christian refugees living in makeshift shelters near the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014, as they try to escape from the deepening divisions between the country's Muslim minority and Christian majority. Christian refug

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Amandine, 7, who found refuge in the Mbaiki cathedral, in Mbaiki, some 120kms (75 miles) south west of bangui, Central African Republic, sits on the ground, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Amandine, who lost both parents five years ago, cannot speak nor walk. She

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At PK12 Chadian troops escort thousands of Muslim residents from Bangui and Mbaiki, fleeing the Central African Republic capital Bangui in a mass exodus using cars, pickups, trucks, lorries and motorcycles on Friday Feb. 7, 2014.

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A woman runs for cover as heavy gunfire erupts in the Miskin district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 3, 2014.

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