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Vol 55 No 5

Published 7th March 2014

Central African Republic

Violence takes new shapes

Militias are adapting to changing circumstances but the political inaction and international delays continue

The few hours that President François Hollande spent in Bangui on 1 March were intended to prove that the capital was now quiet, almost back to normal. The cameras failed to spot the platoons of bodyguards protecting the French President on his short walk through the city streets. Yet it was not all show. The patterns of violence in Bangui are changing. One month ago, most of the killing was carried out by gangs attacking civilians in numbers but now the lynch mobs have largely gone. Instead, targeted killings have become the norm and as a result, there are fewer corpses on the streets.

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