U.S. Ambassador To U.N. Visits CAR To Assess Ongoing Violence, Next Steps

“The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations arrived Thursday in Central African Republic [CAR] in the highest profile American effort to date to quell the cycle of violence in this impoverished country that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced at least 10 percent of the population,” the Associated Press reports. “The violence has been vicious and primarily directed toward civilians and is increasingly sectarian,” Ambassador Samantha Power said in a conference call with reporters, adding, “Obviously urgent action is required to save lives,” according to the AP. “Muslim rebels overthrew the government of [CAR] in March and a cycle of atrocities and revenge attacks followed, peaking over the last few days with hundreds killed around the country,” the news agency notes (Schemm, 12/19). “[T]he U.N. reported that several hundred were killed in recent clashes in Bangui; more than 600,000 people have fled their homes since the beginning of the year,” Foreign Policy reports, adding, “The airport at Bangui is swelling with more than 38,000 displaced civilians, who lack access to clean water, latrines or shelter, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency” (Lynch, 12/19).