News / Africa

    AU Expresses Concern Over Security in CAR

    FILE - Displaced residents fleeing sectarian violence were cordoned off by military at the airport at Bangui, Central African Republic in late August when the airport was temporarily shut down.
    FILE - Displaced residents fleeing sectarian violence were cordoned off by military at the airport at Bangui, Central African Republic in late August when the airport was temporarily shut down.
    Peter Clottey
    The African Union (AU) is gravely concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) following violence that has forced thousands to flee after the overthrow of President Francois Bozize last March, says Erastus Mwencha, deputy AU chairman.

    He rejected criticism that the AU has yet again failed to implement proactive measures to address recent violence. Mwencha underscored the importance of stabilizing the country and protecting civilians to enable a newly elected government to focus on economic development.

    “We want to make sure that we stabilize the country and that we are able to have humanitarian reach out, to provide security so that we can bring law and order to stabilize the country,” said Mwencha. “Concurrently, we are moving in not just with peacekeeping but also civilians and legal capacity so that the country can start to function as a state. Once it is done, it is then up to them to look at the fundamental issues that bring about this crisis.”

    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.

    “The African Union is grateful for the role that the French forces have played in keeping the situation at least from getting worse than what it is at the moment,” said Mwencha.

    “Our hope is that this [situation] can be contained as much as possible until the African forces arrive,” said Mwencha. “It is very clear that the country is on the precipice of a major crisis, which is worrisome. And the sooner we can bring in a stabilization force so that [the country] can go back, have elections, and bring in a government that can help it maintain law and order, the better.”

    The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) plans to transition its forces in CAR to an AU-led mission of about 3,600 troops known as MISCA, in December.

    Mwencha said the AU is working with member countries and international partners to help stabilize the CAR so it can begin a return to constitutional rule.

    “The AU is working with ECCAS to deploy the African Mission to Central Africa, MISCA, with a force which will take over from the ECCAS force and also the French,” said Mwencha.

    But critics say the African Union, ECCAS, and their member states have failed yet again to prove that they can resolve conflicts on their own without relying heavily on from former colonial powers, including France.

    They said heads of state and government did not take steps to prevent the security situation from escalating in spite of repeated warnings from the United Nations and other international human rights groups.  Mwencha disagreed with the criticism.

    “When this crisis started both [ECCAS] and the African Union were very proactive,’ said Mwencha. “[We] resisted and requested for intervention to make sure that the Seleka [rebel] coalition [would] not come into town. But when they did, of course the African Union suspended CAR and immediately also created a contact group, which led to the process where forces were deployed by ECCAS.”
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairman
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Ugandan Opposition Candidate: Only Intimidation, Vote Buying Can Prevent Victory

    Kizza Besigye says he has been drawing large crowds and claims he has widespred support ahead of Feb. 18 vote

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    Sanctions Just Got Real for Over 54,000 North Koreans

    Shuttering of Kaesong complex ends virtually any hope of peaceful settlement to long-standing tensions on Korean peninsula in near future

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.