Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 6, 2014

UN chief Ban Ki-moon visits C. African Republic

(Continued)

Forces from neighboring Chad, a predominantly Muslim country, have helped to evacuate tens of thousands of Muslims fleeing the violence in Central African Republic but the U.N. estimates some 19,000 Muslims remained trapped in places too dangerous to leave them there.

African countries have contributed 6,000 peacekeepers to the effort in Central African Republic, though neighboring Chad began withdrawing its 850 troops on Friday amid a dispute over clashes last weekend that left more than 30 civilians dead. The Chadian forces maintain they were returning fire, while a U.N. preliminary investigation has found they shot indiscriminately into a crowd of civilians.

France has 2,000 troops in its former colony, though a European Union effort to send reinforcements has stalled amid an apparent reluctance to contribute forces.

The U.N. Security Council will vote on a U.N. peacekeeping force in April. Ban has urged council members to act quickly on his recommendation for a 12,000-member peacekeeping mission.

"The world agreed on our collective responsibility to protect a population when the state is unwilling or unable to do that basic job," Ban said Saturday. "The people of CAR should not have to run and die while the world decides whether to keep its promise. You have waited long enough."

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Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal.

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Follow Krista Larson on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/klarsonafrica.

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