African Union peacekeepers have discovered a mass grave at a military camp used by Seleka rebels in the capital city of Bangui in the Central African Republic.
A witness told Reuters he saw four shallow graves holding at least 12 decomposing bodies in the 200 Villas section of central Bangui.
The bodies may have been stuffed into an underground septic tank. The mainly muslim Seleka rebels have been occupying the camp and some are still stationed at the site.
A representative from the local Red Cross has confirmed the existence of the grave but not the number of dead. The Red Cross is working on determining how many bodies are contained in the graves.
The discovery comes barely a day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to respond more ‘robustly’ to the threat of atrocities and violence in the Central African Republic.
The secretary general warned that the violence could lead to a ‘de-facto partition’ of the country into Christian and Muslim regions.
Violence in the region has become a serious concern since the mainly Muslim rebels took control of the nation last March. Rebel violence against Christians has led to a religious conflict in the country that has escalated into widespread fighting.
Thousands of christians and muslims have fled the country in search of security.