Family members say Central African Republic's sports minister has been freed after he was kidnapped by Christian militia fighters last month.

The family of Armel Mingatoloum Sayo confirmed Wednesday that he had been released from captivity overnight. The circumstances of his release were unclear.

His abduction came amid a spate of other kidnappings, including a U.N. employee and a French aid worker, both of whom were later released as well.

Central African Republic exploded into sectarian violence in December 2013 after the Christian militia fighters attempted to overthrew a government led by Muslim rebels from the country's north.

A transitional government put in place about a year ago is supposed to be organizing elections later this year, but instability and violence threatens to derail that goal.