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The World Food Programme has stepped up its efforts to bring aid to the people of the Central African Republic.

The aid agency says it is currently helping over 200,000 people caught in a humanitarian crisis caused by political instability, lawlessness and marauding rebels from neighbouring countries.

The landlocked former French colony has been plunged into chaos since the Seleka rebels seized power four months ago. Outside the capital Bangui much of the country is ruled by warlords.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the United Nations Security Council to act.

A report to be discussed by the Security Council next week has highlighted a number of abuses and incidents attributed to rogue elements among the rebels.

Ban Ki-moon has urged the Council to adopt sanctions if necessary and said that the restoration of peace and security in the capital and the country is a priority.

Around four and a half million people live in what is one of the poorest places on earth.

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