The UN has warned of an escalating humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic, cautioning against a new bloodbath as France sets to extend the stay of its troops in its former colony.
The UN's refugee agency said Tuesday that thousands of people -- mainly members of the minority Muslim community -- are at the imminent risk of attack in the conflict-torn country.
More than 15,000 people, most of them Muslims, in different locations "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups," UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards said.
The official also called for an increase in international troops and heightened security there, saying "humanitarian efforts alone cannot be sufficient."
This is while the French parliament has moved to vote on the extension of the military intervention in the CAR beyond April.
Experts say the measure aims to extend the mission in the war-torn country.
There has been ongoing inter-communal violence in the Central African Republic since December last year, when Christian militia launched coordinated attacks against the mostly Muslim members of the Seleka group - which toppled the previous government in March 2013.