Gunmen have killed at least 22 Muslims, including three children, who were fleeing sectarian violence in the Central African Republic(CAR).
Robert Lankenau, with Save the Children, said in a statement issued late Saturday that some 50 others were injured in the attack that was carried out a day earlier. Save the Children medical team worked to treat the injured at a hospital in the northwestern town of Bouar. Lankenau said the attack indicates that African and French peacekeepers are not reaching remote areas where killings go unseen. The situation is “still fraught and highly dangerous,” he stated. The Central African Republic spiraled into chaos in March 2013, when Seleka fighters unseated President Francois Bozizé and brought Michel Djotodia to power. Bozizé fled the country after his ouster. On January 10, both Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiengaye resigned after coming under intense pressure over the government’s failure to stem the deadly violence. France invaded its former colony on December 5, 2013, after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country. France has deployed 1,600 troops to the country, but the UN-backed intervention force, which includes over 4,000 African Union peacekeepers, is struggling to restore security. Paris claims the aim of the mission is to create stability in CAR in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach violence-hit areas. According to reports, more than 1,000 people were killed in last December alone. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says nearly one million people have been displaced due to the violence.