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UN agency: more people displaced in CAR

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-12-18 10:49

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Tuesday it believes that some 210,000 people were displaced just in the last two weeks alone in Bangui, the national capital of the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Refugee Agency also said that it is sending additional emergency teams to the country because of the deteriorating situation there and reports of new displacement. "Staff have begun arriving this week and more are on their way," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing here.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said that it has assisted nearly 100,000 people with 414 metric tons of food in Bangui since the beginning of the crisis.

"Near the airport, the World Food Programme has been providing food to some 40,000 people as many people displaced by violence are located there," Nesirky said. "The distributions have started from 13 December, but were halted over the weekend for security reasons and were due to resume today."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday told a year-end press conference that in the outgoing year, the CAR "descended into chaos", and voiced his grave concerns about "the imminent danger of mass atrocities".

The CAR has been gripped by conflict that has reportedly killed thousands of people and driven more than half a million from their homes over the outgoing year. It has been thrown into turmoil since Seleka rebels launched attacks a year ago and forced President Francois Bozize to flee in March. A transitional government has since been entrusted with restoring peace and paving the way for democratic elections, but armed clashes have erupted again.

In Bangui last week, Christians and Muslims launched reprisal attacks against each other in and around the city, killing at least 450 people and driving nearly 160,000 others from their homes, reports said.

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