Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia has offered to speak to the leaders of so-called “Christian” militias, reports the BBC, in attempt to deal with the worsening sectarian conflict.

Speaking to French RFI radio, he said he was ready to “extend his hand”. A former rebel leader, Djotodia became the Christian majority country’s first Muslim leader after a coup in March.

Meanwhile, the African Union has authorised increasing the number of troops deployed in the country to 6,000. An estimated 10 per cent of the CAR’s 4.6 million population have fled their homes since the beginning of the violence.