Christian militias ‘cleanse’ Muslims from western CAR, UN says

Christian militias have already “cleansed” most Muslims from the western Central African Republic, the UN high commissioner for refugees told the Security Council on Thursday.

“Tens of thousands of them (Muslims) have left the country, the second refugee outflow of the current crisis, and most of those remaining are under permanent threat,” Antonio Guterres said.

The UN refugee chief went on to say that some 15,000 people were trapped in 18 locations in western CAR, where they were surrounded by Christian “anti-Balaka” militias.

“International forces are present in some of these sites, but if more security is not made available immediately, many of these civilians risk being killed right before our eyes,” Guterres said.

“The demon of religious cleansing must be stopped now,” he told the Security Council.