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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid