Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Central African Republic: Chad Withdrawing From AU Mission in CAR

Chad is withdrawing its forces from the African peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.

A statement Thursday from Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Moussa Faki Mahamat did not make clear whether Chadian troops will entirely leave the C.A.R.

Chad has about 850 troops there as part of MISCA, the African Union peacekeeping mission responsible for protecting civilians and disarming militia groups in the C.A.R.

The Chadian minister said Chadians have become the object of a "malicious" campaign to hold them responsible for all the suffering in the C.A.R.

Tens of thousands of C.A.R. Muslims have fled their homes and communities in recent months in fear of the largely Christian anti-balaka militias, with many fleeing to neighboring countries.

The anti-balaka have accused Chadian troops of siding with Muslim civilians and before that, the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Witnesses say that on Saturday, Chadian MISCA troops fired on civilians in the PK12 neighborhood of the capital, Bangui, and killed at least eight people. PK12 is one of the neighborhoods where the anti-balaka have been attacking Muslims.

United Nations officials have called for an urgent international response to the crisis in the C.A.R. to prevent the conflict from destabilizing the region.

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