U.N. officials are warning the Security Council that Central African Republic is on the brink of a catastrophe, with half the population of Bangui made homeless since ethnic warfare broke out.

U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman tells the council that about 2.2 million people throughout Central African Republic need assistance, about half the total population.

He said Monday that about half the people of Bangui have been driven from their homes, a total of about 513,000. About 100,000 are jamming a makeshift camp at the airport near the capitol.

The Central African Republic has been plunged into chaos as the country's Christian majority seeks revenge against the Muslim rebels, who seized power in a coup in March. Fighting between Christian and Muslim militias intensified in December.