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Eleven killed in Central African Republic grenade attack

BANGUI (Reuters) - Eleven people died in the capital of the Central African Republic after a grenade exploded among mourners gathered for a funeral, the Red Cross said on Friday, in what residents said was an attack on Christians. Tit-for-tat inter-communal violence in the impoverished, landlocked country has intensified in recent days as Christian militia have become more militarized, aid workers say.

Cameroon border town battered by C.Africa spillover

When conflict broke out in the Central African Republic last year, the residents of Garoua-Boulai in neighbouring Cameroon could hear the fighting. Looters and bullets did not stop at the border however and the town, teeming with refugees streaming out of the war zone and supply trucks going in, lives in constant fear of spillover violence. Like many fellow traders in Garoua-Boulai, Bachirou would often do business at the border crossing. But today he says that even getting close is "to risk taking a bullet".

C.African refugees starving to death

Dozens of Central African refugees have died from starvation and many more are seriously ill from hunger and exhaustion after fleeing the conflict-ravaged country for Cameroon, the UN warned Friday. Nearly 50 people, at least 33 of them children, have died from severe malnutrition after reaching Cameroon in the first two months of the year, said a spokeswoman for the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR. "The situation of the refugees is particularly alarming," Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba told reporters in Geneva.

Food crisis looms in strife-torn Central Africa

A food crisis is looming in the Central African Republic after nearly a year of inter-religious violence, a UN humanitarian official warned Sunday. "It is now that the humanitarian crisis will start to deepen," said Abdou Dieng, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator in the impoverished country. "If we don't pay attention, we will soon see people dying of hunger," Dieng told AFP after visiting the market town of Bouar in the far west of the country the size of France.

France striving to stop Central African Republic split, Hollande says

By Serge Leger Kokpakpa BANGUI (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande flew to Central African Republic on Friday to tell its leaders and French forces stationed there that France will work to stop the country splitting in two. France's parliament voted on Tuesday to extend the mission, despite tepid popular support at home for a military operation in the former colony where tens of thousands of people have been killed and around a million forced from their homes.

Hollande warns against partition of C.Africa

French President Francois Hollande warned against the partition of the Central African Republic as he visited Bangui Friday, nearly three months into a tough military mission to stop religious bloodshed. Hollande visited some of the 2,000 French troops deployed in the country and met the force's top commander, General Francisco Soriano, at France's main Bangui airport base. One aim of the military intervention is "to avoid at any price the partition of the country", Hollande said during the visit, his second since Operation Sangaris was launched on December 5.

Hollande in C.Africa as France digs in

French President Francois Hollande arrived in the Central African Republic on Friday, nearly three months into a difficult mission to stop the sectarian bloodshed sweeping the country. His high-security visit to Bangui caps a week that saw the French parliament extend Operation Sangaris and another 400 extra troops arrive in the deeply unstable former French colony. Hollande is due to meet interim president Catherine Samba Panza as well as French troops who were first sent in to try to quell the seething violence in early December.

Central African militia leader denies Congo arrest report

The self-styled political leader of a militia sowing terror in the Central African Republic (CAR) denied a police report that he had been arrested in north Congo and transferred to Brazzaville. "Contrary to what has been said on foreign channels and in certain newspapers, I have not been arrested in Congo and I wasn't transferred to Brazzaville", said Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, a former minister under ousted president Francois Bozize.

Little hope for C.Africa Muslims ahead of French president visit

Reeling from savage attacks, Central African Republic's Muslim minority have little faith that Friday's visit by President Francois Hollande will change their fortunes, while the French military has warned that the country cannot only rely on foreign help. Muslims holed up in the capital's PK-5 district -- where they have come under repeated attacks from mainly Christian anti-balaka militias -- are blunt about Hollande's visit.

Central African militia leader arrested in Congo

The self-styled political leader of a militia sowing terror in the Central African Republic has been arrested in north Congo and transferred to Brazzaville, police in the country said Thursday. A former minister under ousted president Francois Bozize, Patrice Edouard Ngaissona -- who calls himself the coordinator of the mostly Christian "anti-balaka" (anti-machete) militia, was arrested Tuesday along with two aides.
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