Hundreds flee Central African Republic as violence continues
Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 01:16
Dec. 28 - Muslims say they are fleeing the Central African Republic to Chad to avoid reprisals by the 'anti-balaka' Christian militia. Nathan Frandino reports.
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With bags packed and no set return date, Central Africans are fleeing their country.
After a month of violence that has killed more than 1,000 people in the capital Bangui, hundreds are boarding emergency flights to neighboring Chad.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) BANGUI RESIDENT AND MUSLIM SHAFADE TANGABO SAYING:
"I am Central African but because there is so much tension here I have decided to leave to find some peace in N'Djamena. Afterwards, we will come back because we have no other homeland. Our ancestors came here in 1821."
Many at the airport are Muslims who say they fear reprisals from the 'anti-balaka' Christian militia.
The militia has been targeting Muslims -- including Muslims from Chad -- believed to be aiding the Seleka rebels.
So far, more than 2,700 people have flown out since December 21st.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) BANGUI RESIDENT AND MUSLIM, ADJA PINERA, SAYING:
"We cannot cope with this. That's why we want to flee the country and go to Chad, even though we haven't been to Chad since we were born. We are Central Africans, but we are forced to flee to Chad now."
Meanwhile, French and African Union troops continue to patrol under a U.N. mandate to protect citizens.
Combined, there are nearly 5,600 troops in the country.
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