UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that he was "appalled" by the ongoing inter-communal conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), calling on the authorities to "rein in those fomenting and perpetrating the violence."
"The secretary-general is appalled by the continuing inter-communal violence in the CAR, including the reports today of dozens of more bodies found on the streets of Bangui," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson.
At the same time, Ban "is saddened by the deaths yesterday of six peacekeepers from the African-led International Support Mission (MISCA), and he pays homage to the sacrifice they have made," the statement said.
Eight Chadian soldiers of MISCA were killed in the past two days, including six slain on Christmas day. At least 50 civilians have been killed in the clash this week in Bangui and their bodies have been found, according to Red Cross sources.
He called on all parties and citizens in the country to cooperate with the African Union and French forces. "Their mission is to provide desperately needed security," he said. "They are not part of the conflict between Central Africans."
According to the statement, the secretary-general was also saddened to learn of the killing of a UN staff member on Tuesday.
The UN chief extended his deepest condolences to the families of all victims of the violence in the CAR, the statement said.
"He appreciates the efforts of the UN personnel working under extremely trying circumstances to help the people of the CAR, and he is committed to their security," it said.
In the statement, Ban called again on "the Transitional Authorities of the CAR to uphold their responsibilities to rein in those fomenting and perpetrating the violence," reiterating that those responsible for atrocities must be held accountable.
He also welcomed the appeals for peace by religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, hoping that leaders at all levels will reinforce this message.
"He stresses the urgency at this time of providing security and protection for the civilian population, facilitating humanitarian assistance, and creating the conditions for a negotiated and orderly return to constitutional order," the statement added.
Earlier this month in Bangui, Christians and Muslims launched reprisal attacks against each other in and around the city, killing at least 450 people and driving nearly 160,000 others from their homes.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution authorizing increased military action by French and African troops in the CAR to try to end near-anarchy amid an upsurge in Muslim-Christian violence, killings, torture and rapes.
The CAR, with a population of 4.6 million, has been marred by coups and rebellions. The situation took a sharp turn for worse in March when the rebel group Seleka Alliance ousted President Francois Bozize.
A transitional government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, has been entrusted with a mandate to restore law and order and pave the way for democratic elections, only to see a resumption of armed clashes between the ex-rebel Seleka troops and Christian militia, rendering half of the country's population into dire humanitarian situation.
Chadian soldiers killed in Central African Republic clash, civilian toll hits 50
YAOUNDE, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Eight Chadian soldiers of the peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic (MISCA) were killed in the past two days, including six slain on Christmas day, local police reported on Thursday.Full story