Central African Republic: Aftermath images 'shocking'

Photo from Amnesty International: In the Bouca area, approximately 485 structures - represented here by yellow dots - appear burned (November 2013) Image copyright DigitalGlobe
Image caption In this false colour satellite image of the northern CAR town of Bouca, yellow dots represent structures which Amnesty says appear to have been burned

New satellite images from the Central African Republic show the "shocking" aftermath of recent violence, according to Amnesty International.

The country has been in crisis since a rebel takeover in March.

The human rights group says the images show significant fire damage to 485 homes in the northern town of Bouca.

Some of the thousands of people who have fled the violence can be seen massing in nearby Bossangoa, Amnesty says.

It is not publishing those images out of concern for the safety of the displaced people, it says.

"These new images offer a glimpse of physical scarring to homes and civic life visible from space, but the true scale of the human impact of the crisis cannot be captured by satellite," said Aster van Kregten, from Amnesty International.

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Media captionA guide to the Central African Republic crisis in 10 numbers


The Seleka coalition of armed rebels ousted President Francois Bozize earlier this year.

Since then the rebels have committed human rights violations on an "unprecedented scale," according to Amnesty.

Meanwhile the United Nations' World Food Programme says that 1.1 million people in the CAR risk going hungry because of the conflict.

The agency fears that food from the most recent harvest could run out in January or February 2014.

The WFP's representative in CAR called upon the armed groups in the country to respect the rights of civilians, and allow WFP staff access to those in need.

"Immediate action must be taken to end violence in the country to allow hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to return to their homes and farms," said Housainou Taal.

Image copyright DigitalGlobe
Image caption Amnesty International says this image shows the Bouca area before the attack
Image copyright DigitalGlobe
Image caption A satellite image of the same location, taken after the reported attack in September, shows buildings which appear to have been burned, Amnesty says

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