The civil war in the Central African Republic has been raging since March 2013. So far, at least 6,000 people have died in this landlocked country of 4.5 million. The UN says that this estimate “fails to capture the full magnitude of the killings that occurred”.

The conflict has seen Muslims and Christians turn on each other. Mostly Muslim Seleka rebels kickstarted the conflict by toppling President Francois Bozize in 2013, and mostly Christian or animist anti-Balaka rebels took up arms in response. Now, a UN inquiry has concluded that ethnic cleansing of Muslim populations by the anti-Balaka has taken place, although there is no evidence of genocidal intent. The report said:

"Thousands of people died as a result of the conflict. Human rights violations and abuses were committed by all parties. The Seleka coalition and the anti-balaka are also responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Although the commission cannot conclude that there was genocide, ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population by the anti-balaka constitutes a crime against humanity.”

Last year, the New Humanist reported on the conflict in CAR, and the role of religion. Most experts on the country agree that the religious divide is just one element of a complex war, rather than the defining feature. You can read that piece here.