UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- An international network of human rights groups says armed groups are looting schools, threatening teachers and students, and stealing food and education kits destined for youngsters in conflict-torn Central African Republic.
A report by the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict released Thursday says the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and the anti-Balaka Christian militia have stripped some schools bare, taking doors, desks, roofs, books and office materials. In recent months, they have targeted newly rehabilitated schools, disrupting efforts to resume education, it said.
The report said African Union, French and U.N. peacekeeping troops also established temporary bases in school facilities, but in recent months fewer incidents were reported.
The organization conducted a five-week research mission to the impoverished nation to investigate the attacks and military use of schools.