Central African Republic: A Nation Engulfed in Civil War

ABC's Terry Moran talks to families fleeing from their homes in a country on the brink of genocide.
4:36 | 04/09/14

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Transcript for Central African Republic: A Nation Engulfed in Civil War
Tonight we'll take you to the front lines with an American woman dealing with a problem from hell. Trying to stop a genocide in a country where Christians and muslims are at each other's throats. Here is ABC's chief foreign correspondent terry Moran. Reporter: Welcome to the central african republic, a kind of hell on Earth. In January, tens of thousand of people driven from their homes by blood thirsty militias fled to the main airport in the capital city of bangue taking shelter under the wings of planes, desperate, terrified. Today there are nearly 100,000 people here living in grim squalor, now penned in behind barbed wire for their safety officials claim. They tell us in French how they fled for their lives the night the killers came. Somebody came to your house? A -- Came with the guns. Believe it or not they're the lucky ones. Outside of the airport, the central african republic is on the brink of genocide. It is neighbor killing neighbor. Christians were going house to house. Dragging people out of their houses. Attacking them with machetes, killing them. And lynching them. Burning them on the streets. There was one day where I saw seven people killed before 9:00 in the morning. Marcus bleesdale a photographer for human rights watch, doing work in the central african tree public. What he has seen and photographed defies imagination. The frenzy of killing. The fear as a man runs for his life from a boy with a machete and others with bows and arrows. The unendurable pain of the murder of children. They are very aware that children shouldn't be soldiers, but they are also still using them. Central african republic is one of the poorest countries on Earth. 4.4 million bitterly divided as never before between muslims and Christians. Nearly 700,000 people have been forced out of their homes. No one knows the death toll. We flew here in a U.S. Military plane that brought U.S. Ambassador to the united nations Samantha power. She has been here before. Tried to rally the world to stop a potential genocide and get help to the people. The only way they feel safe is to literally be bumping up against the runway where international community can see them. Power won the pulitzer prize ten years ago for a book "A problem from hell" about the U.S. Government's failure to stop genocide in bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere. It is her job. She speed through shattered streets to meet the new president here who has no money and less power to stop the killing. But power likes her spirit. How did the meeting go? She is an extremely impressive woman. She came into power with great popularity and great fanfare. And because although she is a Christian she has spoken up so often on behalf of protecting the Muslim people of the country her popularity has started to suffer a little bit. Reporter: Then a ceremonial visit to international peacekeepers. A few thousand are here. They're overwhelmed. 25 have been killed. They need more troops, nor resour resources. It all seems a long way off. So the killing and the suffering continues. And it infuriates Marcus Beesley. Horrific. Sitting here 20 years after Rwanda, the anniversary we are commemorating this week. We said never again back then. We are allowing it to happen right now. Ambassador power seems something else. Depravity in the human heart and gets unleashed. Pretty hard to put back in the box. An astonishing moment captures the desperation here.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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