Groups of rebels who had ruled Central African Republic have been escorted from a military base. The departure of the former Seleka fighters was greeted with screams of joy from the crowd that gathered to watch them leave.

The rebels became deeply unpopular after they killed and tortured civilians after seizing power in March 2013. Their leader Michel Djotodia stepped down as president earlier this month and went into exile in Benin.

Seleka brought Djotodia to power, but he was never able to keep the fighters under control, prompting the formation of the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia.

More than 1,000 people were killed during several days of violence in December alone, and nearly a million people have been forced to flee their homes, with 100,000 living in and around the Bangui airport.

anti balaka fighters
A group of anti-balaka militiamen pose for a photograph on the outskirts of Bangui.The group was formed after Michel Djotodia, leader of the mostly Muslim rebel coalition known as Séléka, rose to power. Anti-balaka means "anti-machete" or "anti-sword"Reuters
anti balaka fighter
A Christian anti-balaka militiaman poses for a photograph in the capital of the Central African RepublicReuters
woman child
A mother holds her child while attempting to take cover as repeated gun shots are heard close to Miskine district during continuing sectarian violence in the capital BanguiReuters
soldiers burning
French troops secure an area after protesters from an angry mob set fire to the dead body of a Muslim man along a street in BanguiReuters
refugee camp
Refugees gather round an old plane in a temporary camp for internally displaced persons at the airport in BanguiReuters
fleeing trucks
A convoy of trucks carrying people and their belongings heads towards ChadReuters
motorbike machete
A man strikes a burning motorbike with a machete after it was set ablaze on Avenue Bonganda in the Lakouanga district of BanguiReuters
seleka gun
A former Seleka soldier holds his weapon as he keeps guard from a moving vehicle during an operation of transferring all former Seleka soldiers from their main base Camp de Roux to a smaller base in the PK12 neighbourhood, in the north of the capital BanguiReuters
man knife
A man gestures with a knife as a crowd barricades a street in BanguiReuters
fighters gun
Anti-Balaka fighters pose at their base in the Boeing district of the Central African Republic's capital BanguiReuters
man fleeing
A man flees with his belongings during continuing sectarian violence in BanguiReuters
little girl
A girl stands by the opening of a tent in a camp for internally displaced persons at the airport in BanguiReuters
french soldiers
French peacekeeping soldiers patrol a street in BanguiReuters