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UN official says 'terrifying' level of hatred in Central African Republic

Published on Mar 21, 2014 2:09 AM

BANGUI (REUTERS) - Hatred between Christians and Muslims in Central African Republic has reached a "terrifying level", the UN's top human rights official said on Thursday, warning that atrocities were being carried out with impunity.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, appealed to the international community to urgently provide troops for a proposed 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission to halt crimes which she said included acts of cannibalism and decapitation of children.

France has deployed 2,000 troops to its former colony to support a 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission but they have been unable to stamp out the violence in the large, sparsely populated nation of 4.5 million people.

"The inter-communal hatred remains at a terrifying level, as evidenced by the extraordinarily vicious nature of the killings," Ms Pillay told a news conference. "There is ... almost total impunity: no justice, no law and order apart from that provided by foreign troops."

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