Deadly violence on rise in CAR

The latest upsurge in deadly violence in the Central African Republic saw the first use of heavy weapons and more sophisticated military tactics by a predominantly Christian armed group, a senior U.N. official said Thursday.
Diane Corner, the U.N. deputy special representative in the beleaguered country, said that since May 8 more than 150 people, including six U.N. peacekeepers, have been killed in the southeastern city of Bangassou, the southern town of Alindao and the northern town of Bria — and the death toll may rise.
Over 25,000 people are displaced in the three localities and 3,000 people from Bangassou have fled across the border to northern Congo, which has seen a recent outbreak of Ebola cases, she said in a video press conference with U.N. reporters.
Corner said the fighting is “more complex” than a renewal of sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims that has plagued the country since late 2013.
“There are many on both sides within the Christian and Muslim community who are continuing very strongly to work for peace and are doing all they can to prevent the situation from worsening,” she said.
Corner said there are 14 armed groups in the country, “some intent on wreaking havoc.”

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