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Prelate pleads for peace as violence continues in Central African Republic

CWN - December 31, 2013

Despite a peacekeeping force of 5,600 troops – 1,600 of them French, and 4,000 from the African Union – sectarian strife continues in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.

An estimated 1,000 people have died in the past month as Anti-balaka, a network of Christian militias loyal to ousted President François Bozizé, fights against the Islamist Séléka forces who helped bring Michel Djotodia to power in March.

Both Agence France-Presse and the Cameroon Tribune have reported on recent pleas for peace by Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the nation’s leading prelate.

Denouncing politicians for “playing with religious sentiment,” Archbishop Nzapalainga lamented the “barbarism and killings that force people onto the roads.”

“We believe that it is time, even urgent that the UN deal with the Central African Republic,” he added.

The nation’s leading Muslim cleric has joined Archbishop Nzapalainga in pleading for peace, Agence France-Presse reported.

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