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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs