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Prelate: Central African Republic is a ‘tinderbox’

Catholic World News - October 22, 2013

On the eve of testimony at the United Nations, the Central African Republic’s leading prelate said that the nation is a “tinderbox.”

Members of Séléka, an Islamist rebel movement, seized power in the nation in March. The number of Séléka militants, according Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, has soared from 3,500 to 25,000 since the takeover.

“The number of abuses cannot be counted,” he said, according to Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies. “People have been killed, homes burned, and women raped by the rebels.”

Opponents of Séléka, he added, are taking up arms in self-defense.

Archbishop Nzapalainga is calling for a greater number of African Union peacekeepers, increased humanitarian aid, and an investigation by the International Criminal Court into human rights abuses.

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