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Last updateMer, 28 Jan 2015 10am

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Central African Republic: 'Sectarian violence in CAR must end'

Washington, DC, US - For the umpteenth time, the US has condemned the worsening sectarian violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and called for an end to the crisis that has left hundreds dead and forced many out of their homes.

State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement issued here that the US is 'deeply concerned' by recent sectarian attacks against both Muslims and Christians in the African nation.

'This sectarian violence must end. The people of C.A.R. must seize the opportunity afforded by its newly-appointed transitional leadership and a strong level of international support to end the present crisis and move toward a stable and peaceful society,' the US said.

'This will not be successful unless all groups look toward the future and break the cycle of violent retribution for past events,' it said.

Clashes during the past few days in the town of Boda left over 75 dead, most of whom were Muslims.

In late January, a convoy carrying mostly Muslims, including ex-Seleka militias, fired on the largely Christian residents of the town of Bocaranga, forcing many to flee.

Many Muslim families have fled from their homes and some 50,000 third-country nationals have left the country.

Since the crisis started last year, approximately one million people have been displaced across the country, including some 85,000 new refugees that have fled to neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, the US has commended the actions of the African Union-led stabilisation mission, MISCA, with the support of French forces, to try to stem the violence.

It also pledged to work with other governments and international organisations to support the efforts of the transition government to end the conflict and re-establish a functioning state.

CAR has been in crisis since last year when the largely-Muslim rebel coalition, known as Seleka, swung into the capital city of Bangui and forced President Francois Bozize to flee.

Pana 07/02/2014