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ICC Note: As French peacekeepers begin to arrive in CAR, hundreds of Christians have fled the capital city as Muslims are engage in door-to-door religious cleansing. 
12/08/2013 Central African Republic (Irish Independent) – Christians fearing reprisal attacks from the Muslim ex-rebels who control the Central African Republic fled on foot by the thousands Saturday, as others ventured outside for the first in time in days, only to bury their dead after the worst violence to rack the lawless country in months.
French armoured personnel carriers and troops from the regional African peacekeeping mission roared at high speed down the roads of the capital, Bangui, as families carrying palm fronds pushed coffins in carts on the road’s shoulder. In a sign of the mounting tensions, others walking briskly on the streets carried bow-and-arrows and machetes.
Former coloniser France has deployed more than 1,000 troops in the country in an effort to stabilise a crisis that the French foreign minister has warned is “on the verge of genocide”. The local Red Cross says it has gathered over 280 bodies in recent days, although the perilous security had made it impossible to access some of the hardest-hit areas.
Overnight, French reinforcements entered the Central African Republic by road from Cameroon to the west, as others ventured northward out of Bangui for the first time since the UN Security Council on Thursday authorised a more muscular international military role to quell the violence, said Col Gilles Jaron, a French military spokesman in Paris.
France now has 1,200 troops in the country, completing plans to double its deployment since Thursday, he said, declining to specify where the new forces were headed beyond the capital. Hundreds are conducting 24-hour patrols in Bangui.
France is raising its troop deployment in the Central African Republic to 1,600 – 400 more than initially planned, president Francois Hollande said.
Mr Hollande told reporters that the 1,600-strong deployment would remain as long as necessary for its mission to help stabilise the country.

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