Obama urges calm in Central African Republic



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ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) - President Barack Obama is urging the people of the Central African Republic to remain calm amid mounting sectarian violence.

The White House says Obama taped the audio message Monday in Dakar, Senegal, as Air Force One was refueling on its way to Johannesburg for a memorial service honoring former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mandela died last week.

Obama addressed his remarks to the "proud citizens of the Central African Republic" and said they have the power "to choose a different path" than the violence that led to more than 400 deaths in two days of violence last week between Christians and Muslims.

Obama says he joins Muslim and Christian leaders in calling for calm and peace and says those who are committing crimes should be arrested.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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JULIE PACE

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