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34 killed in fresh Central African Republic attacks


A local official says at least 34 people have been killed after members of the Seleka movement carried out a series of attacks on remote villages in the violence-plagued Central African Republic (CAR).

Bienvenu Sarapata, mayor of the Mbres commune north of the capital, Bangui, said on Saturday that the attacks were committed over the last week.

Witnesses in Mbres say Seleka fighters have threatened to storm other villages in the coming weeks before the UN peacekeepers arrive on the ground in mid-September.

The CAR descended into chaos last December, when Christian armed groups launched coordinated attacks against the Seleka group that toppled the government in March 2013.

On December 5, France invaded its former colony after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.

In March 2014, UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said almost all of more than 100,000 Muslims once residing in the capital, Bangui, had fled the violence perpetrated by the armed Christians.

The new prime minister of the CAR, Mahamat Kamoun, has vowed to reconcile the factions that are in conflict along ethnic and religious lines in the country.

On August 11, Kamoun said his top priorities were to form an “inclusive” government, restore security, and deal with the African country’s humanitarian crisis.

“You have questions of…humanitarian challenges that need to be addressed,” Kamoun said during his first press conference.

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