CAR conflict: Chad says all its troops withdrawn

Chadian peacekeepers in CAR Chadian troops made up a sizeable part of the African Union's contingent in CAR

Chad's entire contingent of peacekeepers has withdrawn from the Central African Republic (CAR), a military official has confirmed.

The withdrawal followed accusations that Chad had aided Muslim rebels in CAR, a charge it denied.

Chad had about 850 soldiers in a 6,000-strong African Union (AU) force battling to end conflict between Christian and Muslim militias.

The UN Security Council voted last week to send 12,000 troops CAR.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned of "ethno-religious cleansing" in CAR, with lynchings, decapitations and sexual violence going unpunished.

France has 2,000 troops working alongside the AU force.

'Malicious'

"The last soldier crossed the border on 13 April," Souleyman Adam, the Chadian commander in CAR, said, AFP news agency reports.

An anti-Balaka fighter in Bangui, CAR (14 December 2013) Anti-balaka militia members say they are avenging the killing of Christians

Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno ordered the pullout after a UN investigation found that Chadian troops "opened fire on the population without any provocation" in the capital, Bangui, on 29 March.

Thirty people were killed and another 300 were injured in the shooting, according to the UN.

Chad's foreign ministry dismissed the findings as "malicious", and said Chadian troops were being blamed for "all the suffering in CAR".

CAR exploded into religious conflict last year after Muslim rebel leader, Michel Djotodia, seized power in the mainly Christian country.

Mr Djotodia resigned in January under diplomatic pressure, but violence between Christian and Muslim militia groups has continued.

Thousands have been killed in the conflict and tens of thousands more have fled the country.

The UN says that about 1.3 million people - a quarter of the population - are in need of aid.

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