Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Central African Republic: Thousands Take Refuge At Airport

Photo: voice of America
Central African Republic's new President Michel Djotodia speaks to his supporters at a rally in favor of the Seleka rebel coalition in downtown Bangui Mar. 30, 2013.

More than 5,000 people have taken refuge at the main airport in the Central African Republic after days of fighting and unrest in the capital.

The U.N. refugee agency says Bangui has endured more than a week of violence, looting, armed robberies and other problems, prompting many residents to flee their neighborhoods.

It says the thousands who gathered at Bangui International Airport are blocking the runway, forcing flights to be rerouted to Cameroon.

The U.N. agency urged authorities to use all means to restore security and protect the population.

The CAR has been wracked by lawlessness since the rebel movement Seleka overthrew President Francois Bozize in March.

The U.N. refugee agency says there are now more than 206,000 internally displaced people in the CAR. Another 63,000 have fled to neighboring countries since the Seleka rebellion began last December.

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InFocus

Thousands Take Refuge at CAR Airport

Central African Republic's new President Michel Djotodia speaks to his supporters at a rally in favor of the Seleka rebel coalition in downtown Bangui Mar. 30, 2013.

Days of fighting and unrest in the capital have forced thousands of people to take refuge at the main airport, forcing flights to be rerouted to Cameroon. Read more »