Voicing concern over inflammatory rhetoric in the wake of widespread violence in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on all actors to remain calm and to work together to bring peace to the country.
"There is no justification for incitement to violence or hate speech," said the Secretary-General in a statement attributable to his spokesperson.
At least 22 people have been killed and over 100 injured in clashes, which erupted following the arrest of a member of a criminal group by CAR's security forces.
In the ensuing violence, a church was attacked and a pastor killed. Two members of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known by its French acronym MINUSCA, were also wounded - one seriously - when they were pelted with stones by a crowd.
In the statement, the UN chief also called on the national authorities to investigate the attacks and promptly bring those responsible to justice.
He reaffirmed his support to the country and to MINUSCA's role to protect civilians and stabilize the country.