Azadeh Ansari of CNN is reporting that nearly one million people have fled the Central African Republic which has been mired in violence since March 2013. Ansari writes:
“The nearly 935,000 displaced people are hiding in bushes and seeking refuge with host families, and churches and schools have been turned in to makeshift shelters. More than half the population of the capital city of Bangui has been displaced, and nearly 60% of them are displaced children, according to the latest report from UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency.”
Violence broke out in the once peaceful region after the predominantly Muslim-backed Seleka militia and other rebel groups from the marginalized northeast seized Bangui. One of the Seleka leaders, Michel Djotodia, overthrew President Francois Bozize, who fled to Cameroon, creating a political power struggle. Human Rights Watch has reported that the Selekas have been intentionally killing civilians including women, children and the elderly under the leadership of Djotodia. Subsequently, an ex-Seleka national military group has formed. In addition, holdovers from Bozize’s administration, most of whom are Christian, are attacking Muslim civilians in response to the Selekas and ex-Selekas actions.