Fears of tragedy are rising as the United Nations warns of a genocide in the Central African Republic. The latest violence could serve as an “early warning sign” for a genocide, said UN emergency aid coordinator Stephen O’Brien on Monday in New York after a trip to the region. He called for the UN Mission there to be increased.
So far this year, according to O’Brien, 180,000 people have had to leave their homes because of the violence. In total, there are now more than half a million displaced persons in the country and half of the population is dependent on food aid. “There is a risk that the humanitarian emergency will continue to worsen,” said O’Brien.
After the fall of Christian President François Bozizé, the majority of Muslim Séléka rebels have taken power and the country has fallen into a spiral of violence between Christian and Muslim militias.
The African Union’s troops have failed to bring peace and a French contingent – in the country since 2013 – has also not stemmed the violence. Armed groups have been expelled from the capital Bangui, but they remain active in the country, and the tensions remain high.