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

The UN has called for the international community to help tackle the ongoing conflict in Central African Republic and help hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

Senior humanitarian coordinator Claire Bourgeois made the comment after she visited an overcrowded displacement site in Batangafo, in the northwest of the country.

She said that in order to stop the influx of thousands of displaced people, immediate action is needed to ensure the safety and protection of civilians who are at severe risk of attacks in the region, especially in the western area.

CAR Conflict

The conflict has pitted Muslim Seleka forces against Christian anti-Balaka militias following the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, in 2013.

The two warring factions have engaged in violence that has resulted in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

The brutal ethnic cleansing that has taken place has been strongly condemned by NGOs.

Amnesty International has accused peacekeepers of failing to prevent the conflict.

"This will facilitate the return to their places of origins; and, at the same time, will enable humanitarian actors to reach people in need in areas where activities are now interrupted due to safety concerns," she said.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that improvement of the security and protection of civilians as well as assistance to newly arrived displaced people are urgent needs.

"The world needs to wake up to the enormity of the crisis in CAR. This is one of the most serious humanitarian emergencies in the world. We urgently need more action and more commitment. Action to protect civilians must be the top priority for all actors," Bourgeois added.

The UN appeal comes as hundreds of thousands of people are being displaced as a result of a civil war that erupted in 2013. Thousands have been killed, tortured and abducted. An investigation into war crimes by the International Criminal Court is ongoing.