THE Archbishop of York has urged the House of Lords to acknowledge the scale of the crisis in the Central African Republic, which has seen violence and human rights abuses against civilians.

Dr John Sentamu asked the House to acknowledge “that the scale of the crisis is very large”, and warned it could lead to genocide.

He said: “I am grateful for what the Government are doing in response to this particular crisis, but will they use their offices in the European Union to make sure that all nations take part in dealing with this rather appalling situation?

“I am not confident that the African Union actually has the capacity to deal with the situation, much as it is on the ground. I hope the Minister can give us some comfort by confirming that the Government are talking to our European allies to ensure that whatever is needed is provided. Otherwise, we will end up with genocide and pictures on our television screens that will make all our stomachs churn day by day.”

The House heard the Government is now working closely with France and other international partners to support the African Union force and the UN mission, and have allocated £15 million for humanitarian assistance.