A FORMER Solent University student has been murdered while working in the Central African Republic, according to French Government officials.

The body of photojournalist Camille Lepage, 26, was discovered by French troops patrolling in the Bouar region in the west of the country in a vehicle driven by militia from the anti-machete group.

It is understood that Miss Lepage, a French national, had moved to Juba in South Sudan in July 2012, after completing a journalism degree at Solent University in Southampton, but had spent the last few months working in the Central African Republic. 

Tonight french president François Hollande has ordered "the immediate despatch" of a French team and police from the African force deployed in the CAR to the scene.

Her death comes as security in the African country has been deteriorating, with about a quarter of its 4.6 million population fleeing their homes since conflict erupted in March 2013 between mainly Muslim and Christian militias.

A week ago, in her last tweet on May 6, Miss Lepage had written that she was “travelling with the anti-balaka to Amada Gaza, about 120km from Berberati”.

It also said: "We left at 3.30am to avoid the Misca checkpoints and it took us eight hours by motorbike as there is no proper roads to reach the village. In the region of Amada Gaza, 150 people were killed by the Seleka between March and now.

"Another attack took place on Sunday killing 6 people, the anti-balaka Colonel Rock decides to send his elements there to patrol around and take people who fled the bush back to their homes safely."

More to follow.