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Christian aid workers forced to flee upsurge in Central African Republic violence

World Vision UK pulled a group of its staff from the country amid mounting violence in the capital Bangui, described as the worst the area has seen in over a year.

Other charities also evacuated their staff.

Erica Hall, World Vision UK's Senior Child Rights Policy Adviser who was in the country when the fighting erupted said: "The latest upsurge of violence is taking an unimaginable toll on civilians, especially children. We have seen in CAR that boys and girls as young as eight are being recruited as soldiers or raped by armed groups with nowhere to go to escape violence.

"The renewed fighting in the country is leaving children who have already been suffering from critical levels of child malnutrition, difficult access to education and forced recruitment by armed militias even more vulnerable.

"Many have been displaced from their homes time after time, and now are forced to once again flee to overcrowded camps with little food and medical supplies available."

She added that she had to escape the violence through CAR's back roads before crossing into the Democratic Republic of Congo where she caught a flight back to the UK.

She said she was deeply worried that most of the displaced children have little to eat, have been forced out of school and are terrified of the violence.

The latest figures from the United Nations indicate that over 48,000 people have been displaced inside Bangui. Before the latest bout of inter-communal violence in the country, 417,000 people had already been displaced from their homes. To date, 4.8 million people have been affected by the crisis, and half of those (2.4 million) are children.

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