Half-million people flee Central African Republic’s violence, UN

In this photo taken on Sunday, June 19, 2016, six-year-old Alpha Meleki plays in the yard at the En Avant Les Enfants INUKA center in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Melee survived an attack from ADF rebels on his village that left over 20 dead including his parents in Beni in January 2016. Rescuers found Meleki in a pile of bodies with a bullet wound to his belly. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The U.N. refugee agency says Central African Republic is seeing the highest number of people fleeing deadly violence since the beginning of the country’s conflict four years ago.

The agency said in Geneva on Friday that more than half a million people have fled the impoverished country as violence surges to levels similar to those at the height of the fighting in 2014.

Another 600,000 people are displaced inside the country.
Hundreds of people have been killed since largely sectarian fighting erupted in May in areas that previously had been spared. Thousands of Muslims have been sheltering in churches in some areas.

The UN says many of the newly displaced people can’t reach badly needed aid.