Central African Republic's presidential spokesman says the transitional leader has left the U.N. General Assembly and returned to the country after the worst violence in the capital in a year.

Presidential communications director Selemane Adjar said Tuesday that President Catherine Samba-Panza arrived overnight.

In a government communique distributed Tuesday, Samba-Panza condemned the escalation of sectarian violence that has killed at least 42 and left the capital, Bangui, in chaos after 500 inmates escaped from prison.

Samba-Panza said she will not be intimidated by the violence. She called on people to show restraint and called on international forces in the country to protect civilians and help track down instigators of the violence.

The violence was sparked by the killing of a Muslim man whose body was left near a mosque Saturday.