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Anti-government protests rock Central African Republic

Anti-government protests rock Central African Republic
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Thousands of people have marched through the capital of Central African Republic to demand the resignation of its interim President Catherine Samba-Panza.

It follows a resurgence of violence in the largely Christian city of Bangui after Muslim gunmen attacked a church on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people.

“As a first solution we’d like the immediate departure of Burundi forces. Secondly, we’d like the liberation of KM5 so that our mothers, sons and fathers can go about their business normally,” said one demonstrator.

The Burundi contingent of the African peacekeeping force has come under fire after two people were shot dead during violent protests.

The Burundi peacekeepers have also been accused of siding with Muslims.

The country has been gripped by ethnic and religious violence for more than a year since Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized Bangui in March 2013.

The Seleka left power in January under international pressure and since then the anti-balaka militias have attacked on Muslims.

Those attacks have largely driven Muslims from the capital and areas to the west, effectively partitioning Central African Republic, whose northeast is controlled mainly by Seleka.