UNITED NATIONS, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The deteriorating security in the Central African Republic (CAR), especially in its capital city, Bangui, has triggered further displacement within the country and beyond its borders, a UN spokesman told reporters here Tuesday.
"The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed its concern today about the deterioration of the security situation in Bangui since the High Commissioner's recent visit, with at least 60 people killed since March 22," said Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq at the daily briefing.
According to the OHCHR, a series of clashes between the mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka and Muslims have taken place in various neighborhoods of the capital in the past week.
The UN spokesman noted that increased tensions and clashes between anti-Balaka elements and the African Union peacekeeping mission (MISCA) have also been reported, with anti-Balaka reportedly targeting MISCA military and civilian personnel directly on several occasions.
According to him, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday issued a statement condemning in the strongest possible terms all acts of violence against civilians and against international forces working in the CAR to re-establish peace and order.
Since the conflict started in December 2012 following attacks from mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and 2.2 million, about half of the population of the CAR, need humanitarian aid.
More than 650,000 people are still internally displaced, and over 290,000 more have fled to neighboring countries in search of refuge from the conflict, which has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.
CAR refugees, mostly Muslim, continue to stream into neighboring countries, according to the agency. In the past three months, more than 82,000 people from CAR have found shelter in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo and Chad.
Amid the ongoing conflict in CAR, Ban proposed in early March the deployment of a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission that will be tasked with protecting civilians in the strife-torn nation.
OHCHR once again urged states to support the UN secretary- general's urgent appeal for thousands more peacekeepers and police, according to Haq.