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Humanitarian Crisis Worsening In CAR

IRIN examines the worsening crisis the Central African Republic (CAR) “has faced since a rebel alliance known as Seleka took power by force in March 2013,” writing, “Humanitarian and development indicators were dire before the coup, but now, amid increasing violence by armed groups and between communities and religious faiths, they are even worse: almost the entire population of 4.5 million has been affected; 1.1 million people outside the capital, Bangui, are estimated to be severely or moderately food-insecure; and there are almost 400,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), double the figure of just a few months ago” (McNeish, 11/22). “Thousands of people are dying at the hands of soldiers and militia gangs or from untreated diseases such as malaria,” The Guardian adds (Smith, 11/22).

“The number of child soldiers in [CAR] has more than doubled to as many as 6,000 in recent months, as self-defense militia have sprung up to counter waves of attacks by former rebels, the United Nations said on Friday,” Reuters notes (Nebehay, 11/22). “The United Nations said a ‘pre-genocide’ situation may exist as the conflict takes on a religious aspect, pitting Christians against Seleka, which is mostly Muslim,” United Press International writes (11/22). “Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., noted recently that the situation in the CAR has been referred to as ‘the worst crisis most people have never heard of,’” according to The Guardian (11/22).