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Militias in Central African Republic Block Muslims Exit to Cameroon

Militia members in the Central African Republic. (Screen capture from YouTube video)
Militia members in the Central African Republic. (Screen capture from YouTube video)

By Stephanie Nebehay
Christian militia forces are blocking the main roads used by Muslim civilians trying to flee Central African Republic to Cameroon and attacking the refugees, the United Nations said on Friday, citing accounts from 'traumatized' victims.

Some refugees have suffered serious machete and gunshot wounds and many are severely malnourished after walking for months, having to detour and enter Cameroon via remote entry points, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

"New arrivals have told our colleagues the militias have blocked main roads to Cameroon, forcing people to wade through the bush for two to three months before reaching the border. The refugees also said that the anti-balaka attacked them during the flight," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

The agency showed a video of refugees crossing over a river into Gbiti, near Kentzou in Cameroon, a week ago, some with machete gashes on their faces, others with swollen feet.

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