The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic says he has written to a U.N. sanctions committee to ask that an arms embargo on the violence-ripped country be loosened to benefit its armed forces.

A statement by the peacekeeping mission Wednesday says Parfait Onaga-Anyanga told reporters he has taken note of the government's earlier request to loosen the arms embargo.

The statement does not say when exactly he sent the letter to the president of the U.N. sanctions committee for the country.

Central African Republic officials have said the U.N. must lift the arms embargo to allow the government to import weapons to help keep order.

Deadly violence between Christians and Muslims has continued as the country prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 13.