The Central African Republic has been in crisis since March, when a group of rebels fighting under the name Seleka stormed the capital of Bangui and ousted the notoriously corrupt and weak government. The new government has been accused of mass atrocities and much of the country remains in chaos.
Mia Farrow, an activist and former actor who has traveled to the region a number of times, visited the Central African Republic last week as a goodwill ambassador with the United Nations Children's Fund. We spoke over the phone on Saturday about what she saw in the increasingly violent capital city, at internally displaced persons centers, in special schools designed to rehabilitate former child soldiers and at one isolated church where she said thousands of Central Africans were seeking shelter from armed groups. Drawings by former child soldiers, who were asked to sketch their experiences as part of their therapy, are interspersed in this article. A lightly edited and condensed transcript of our conversation follows.