News / Africa

AU Plans Troop Increase to Central African Republic

A Chad soldier holds his weapon in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 9, 2013.
A Chad soldier holds his weapon in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 9, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The African Union (AU) plans to increase from 3,500 to 5,000 African-led troops to help end the escalating sectarian violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), says Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairman of the AU.

At a recent meeting, the United Nations Security Council proposed an African-led force of 3,500 to help contain or end the wave of violence in the CAR.

But, after expressing concern about the conflict, African heads of state agreed at a summit in France to increase the troop levels to contain the deteriorating security situation.

Mwencha said the AU’s Peace and Security Commission also reviewed the situation and backed the troop surge.

“The authorization which was given by the UN Security Council is around 3,500, but given the recent decisions and because of this surge in sectarian conflict, one is looking at 5,000 plus,” said Mwencha. “And so this is the challenge we are trying to deal with because with increased numbers... you need the capacity to airlift them, and give them logistical supplied to be able to carry out the mission as envisaged.”

Mwencha said that the AU’s international partners including the European Union and the United States have pledged financial support to the African-led troops.

“A number of countries have come forward to give support; some it materially, some of it finance. The European Union has pledged to give some funding to the level of $50 million, and the U.S. and others,” said Mwencha. “We do have some seed capital. We can start with in terms of mounting the operation …it is a crisis precisely for the fact that you don’t plan for it, [and] you don’t budget for it.”

Critics say African leaders, the AU and regional groups, including the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have again failed to implement measures to address the wave of violence in the CAR following the overthrow of President Francois Bozize last March. Mwencha disagreed with the criticism.

“[Since] March, [the AU has] been very active in first of all suspending the Central African Republic [from the group], setting up a process to bring them back to constitutionality, and also making arrangements for transition to elections,” said Mwencha. “You could never be able to predict the undercurrents that led to this surge of conflict...like anything else this is a situation that just got out of hand.”

Mwencha hailed France’s decision to send about 1,000 troops to boost its military presence in its former colony to help end the escalating security situation.

Michel Djotodia, the current leader of the CAR, led the Seleka rebel group that ousted Francois Bozize in March. Djotodia has since said he is not able to control all of the elements of the rebel group, some of whom are accused of playing key roles in the ongoing violence in the country.
Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairman
Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid