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Central African leader says he lacks control of ex-allies

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

BANGUI, Central African Republic — The rebel-leader-turned-president of Central African Republic acknowledged on Sunday that he doesn't have control over former allies who are accused of killing scores of civilians.

He said “an angel from the sky” could not solve his country's problems.

Violence in the past few days has killed about 400 people, prompting a U.N.-sanctioned French military intervention aimed at preventing the former French colony from descending further into sectarian bloodshed. French troops are to try to disarm fighters on Monday.

In the abuse allegations, officials from two relief agencies said Muslim fighters from the former Seleka alliance that brought President Michel Djotodia to power had attacked a hospital in Bangui, pulling out at least nine wounded young men who were accused of being part of a Christian militia and killing them.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted by Seleka fighters, said the wounded men were removed from Amitie Hospital in front of horrified medical staff and that the victims' bodies were found just outside the building.

The victims were suspected of being members of a Christian militia that attacked the capital on Thursday, unleashing retaliatory violence.

Djotodia acknowledged the difficulties of controlling the ex-Seleka fighters, who came from several northern rebel groups with the goal of ousting President Francois Bozize from power in March after a decade in office.

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