The U.N. secretary-general is asking for more than 1,000 additional peacekeepers for the Central African Republic to help bring violence between Christians and Muslims under control.

A letter from Ban Ki-moon to the U.N. Security Council president, circulated Thursday, says another 1,030 peacekeepers are needed to help stabilize parts of the country beyond the capital, Bangui.

"I am confident that deployment, if authorized soon, can be achieved by July 2015," Ban says.

The U.N. in September took over authority of a peacekeeping force in Central African Republic with the goal of putting roughly 10,000 peacekeepers on the ground.

Ban's letter says he hopes the force will be 90 percent deployed by April.

The violence that erupted in 2012 has killed at least 5,000 and forced tens of thousands to flee.