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Top Central Africa clerics urge United Nations to send peacekeepers

Published on Dec 26, 2013 9:44 PM

PARIS (AFP) - The top Catholic and Muslim clerics of the Central African Republic on Thursday asked the United Nations to immediately deploy peacekeepers to halt a spiral of violence that has pitted Muslims against Christians.

In an opinion column in France's Le Monde newspaper, the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga, and Imam Omar Kobine Layama, said French and African peacekeepers needed help to contain the violence.

"The UN must immediately dispatch such a force on the ground," they said.

France has sent 1,600 soldiers to its former colony to back an African Union peacekeeping force of about 4,000 troops. But they have been struggling to restore order in a country wracked by decades of misrule, coups and dictatorships.

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