DAKAR, Senegal — The exodus of tens of thousands of Muslims from Central African Republic amounts to "ethnic cleansing," Amnesty International said Wednesday, warning that the sectarian bloodshed now under way despite the presence of thousands of peacekeepers is a "tragedy of historic proportions."
Their report Wednesday comes as the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed fears that the violence ravaging Central African Republic could ultimately divide the country into a Muslim north and a Christian south as "the sectarian brutality is changing the country's demography."
"We cannot just continue to say 'never again.' This, we have said so many times," Ban said late Tuesday. "We must act concertedly and now to avoid continued atrocities on a massive scale."
More than 1,000 people have been killed since sectarian fighting broke out in early December, and nearly 1 million in this country of 4.6 million have fled their homes.