U.N. officials see risk of genocide in Central African Republic

UNITED NATIONS,  (Reuters) – Central African Republic is at risk of spiraling into genocide as armed groups incite Christians and Muslims against each other in the virtually lawless country, senior U.N. officials told the Security Council yesterday.

The landlocked, mineral-rich nation of 4.6 million people has slipped into chaos since northern Seleka rebels seized the capital, Bangui, and ousted President Francois Bozize in March. Rights groups say both sides may have committed war crimes.

“More and more you have inter-sectarian violence because the Seleka targeted the churches and the Christians, so now the Christians have created self-defense militias and they are retaliating against the Muslims,” said French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud after a briefing by U.N. rights and aid officials.

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