France announced on Thursday it was reducing its troop numbers in the Central African Republic as it gradually hands over to an 8 500-strong UN peacekeeping force brought in to contain a deadly sectarian conflict.
Central African Republic Refugees Flee Renewed Violence, UN Says
An upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic drove almost 50,000 people from their homes since December, the United Nations Refugee Agency said.
Fighting associated with seasonal movements of livestock forced people to seek refuge in the northern town of Batangafo and Bambari in the east, the agency said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. More than 19,000 people have fled across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo after clashes between militias in their villages, it said.
Most of those who have been displaced are women and children, some of whom have been hiding in the bush “for weeks,” the agency said.