US ambassador to visit Central African Republic

By By DEB RIECHMANN

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is planning an eight-hour visit to the Central African Republic to press transitional leaders to hold people accountable for vicious acts of violence and force armed groups to lay down their weapons.

Located in the heart of Africa, the Central African Republic is about 85 percent Christian. It had little history of sectarian violence before a rebellion overthrew the government nearly nine months ago. Since then, rebels have been blamed for scores of atrocities.

The American ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, says that during her visit Thursday she will urge the Central African Republic's leaders to take the steps needed to restore calm in a country shattered by violence and fear.

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