After taking power, the Djotodia government failed to establish its authority over most of the country or to guarantee the safety of its inhabitants, especially outside of Bangui. The new government never exerted strong command and control of Seleka forces and in September Djotodia declared the former rebel group dissolved. Relatively autonomous Seleka commanders, some of whom were Chadian or Sudanese, continued to operate and prey on local populations, however. The mostly Muslim Seleka often targeted Christian communities and Christian-owned businesses and carried out murders, rapes, robberies, looting, and burning of villages. The Seleka abuses gave rise in turn to Christian self-defense groups that sought to kill Seleka fighters and Muslims more generally. The government consistently failed to stop or punish abuses by either Seleka or Christian militias.
According to reports from the press and Catholic groups, in August Seleka targeted a Christian community around the town of Bohong and killed 50 individuals and burned down 4,500 homes. On September 7 and 8, Seleka reportedly killed between 50 and 200 civilians, including two staffers of a humanitarian organization, after an unknown group attacked them around the town of Bossangoa. Christians were targeted in these killings, which in turn led to up to 40,000 persons, mostly Christians but also Muslims, to seek shelter in Bossangoa, often in places of worship.
Fighting spread to villages near the town of Bouca, about 55 miles from Bossangoa. The number of casualties in the Bouca region was unknown, but UN officials estimated that fighting there displaced 170,000 people and the international nongovernmental organization (NGO) Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) reported treating 26 individuals, including women and children, for gunshot and machete wounds. On September 16, a Christian force attacked Muslims in Bouca, reportedly killing some 40 people, mostly women and children.
In October international NGOs received reports of Christian militia attacks against Muslim communities in the northwest of the country in which the militias killed 10-12 Muslims.
On December 5, primarily Christian forces believed to be loyal to ousted president Bozize attacked Bangui. There were reports that the attackers targeted Seleka and killed some 100 persons.
Other attacks in Bangui carried out by Seleka and primarily Christian forces known as anti-Balaka resulted in additional deaths. The Seleka targeted Christians while the anti-Balaka targeted Muslims. The upsurge in sectarian violence in December reportedly resulted in more than 1,000 deaths in Bangui and the displacement of more than one million people throughout the country, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.