US congressional visit urges Central African Republic aid

A U.S. congressional delegation is calling for urgent aid to Central African Republic during its visit to the impoverished country where deadly sectarian violence is surging again.

Hundreds of people have been killed this year and more than 600,000 have been displaced.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tells The Associated Press that the international community "has to think about the long-term implications of abandoning our efforts to stabilize this country."

Cicilline is criticizing the withdrawal of U.S. special operations troops and says it creates a "void" in the country's southeast. The U.S. military this year ended its operations against the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group in the region.

The U.N. Foundation funded the delegation's trip.