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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs