News / Africa

Amnesty: Christian Militias on Rampage in Rural CAR

Muslim women and children take refuge in St. Pierre Church in Boali, Central African Republic, on January 23 as anti-Balaka Christians and Seleka militias loot and kill civilians.
Muslim women and children take refuge in St. Pierre Church in Boali, Central African Republic, on January 23 as anti-Balaka Christians and Seleka militias loot and kill civilians.
Kim Lewis
Amnesty International reports escalating violence in the northwestern region of Central African Republic as anti-Balaka Christian militias continue looting and killing the elderly, women and children in Muslim communities.
 
Senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International tells VOA that the Central African Republic continues to deteriorate as civilians seek refuge from on-going violence.
 
Rovera says new evidence underscores the extreme dangers faced by Muslim women, children and the elderly who are being slaughtered by Christian anti-Balaka militias. 
 
Listen to interview with Donatella Rovera
Listen to interview with Donatella Roverai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

In the center of a sectarian conflict

“The situation is extremely tense here in Bouar and in the nearby town of Baoro and other places where the international peacekeeping forces are not present,” Rovera reports today by telephone from Bouar, which is in the center of the sectarian conflict in the west of the country.
 
“Yesterday, as we were driving to Baoro we met a large group of anti-Balaka Christian militias who told us that they were on their way to attack the town of Baoro. 

Rwandan peacekeepers remove lucky charms from a suspected anti-Balaka Christian carrying a rifle and a grenade in a Muslim market in Bangui.Rwandan peacekeepers remove lucky charms from a suspected anti-Balaka Christian carrying a rifle and a grenade in a Muslim market in Bangui.
x
Rwandan peacekeepers remove lucky charms from a suspected anti-Balaka Christian carrying a rifle and a grenade in a Muslim market in Bangui.
Rwandan peacekeepers remove lucky charms from a suspected anti-Balaka Christian carrying a rifle and a grenade in a Muslim market in Bangui.
“There were more of these militia members on the way out of Baoro.  We know that they have already received more members from other parts of the governate, and more are coming this way.” 

Anti-Balaka militias – balaka is a local term for machete – formed to oppose predominantly Muslim Seleka forces. Seleka rebels under the command of Michel Djodotia over-threw the regime of President Francoise Bozize last year. The Seleka forces refused Djotodia’s orders to disarm and the violence began. Djotodia recently resigned and a transitional president, Mrs.Catherine Samba-Panza, was named last week. 
 
There are now an estimated 1,500 French peacekeepers in the former French colony and more than 5,000 African Union peacekeepers from countries in the region.
 
Peacekeepers offer no protection in remote areas
 
Amnesty declares that peace-keeping forces are not going into the most dangerous areas to protect civilians, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.
 
Rovera said the people of the Bouar have absolutely no protection from the attacks because the international peace-keeping forces are not present in these remote towns in the northwest.
 
“The French troops do not get this far north,” she says. “They go elsewhere. 
 
“The African Union peace-keeping forces are in this area, but they just mainly patrol the main roads and do not go into some of the towns where their presence is sorely needed, and where it would make a huge difference,” says Rovera. “Where it could really save lives.”
 
The Amnesty International senior crisis adviser says given the number of peacekeepers on the ground, they should be going into the areas where protection is needed the most. However, she says they are largely staying in the main parts of the nation.
 
“We see large convoys with hundreds of troops going up and down the road. We found them in the market buying snacks, but they don’t go enough into the town. 
 
“Basically, they need to get out of their barracks more,” she says.  “They need to get off the main roads more and into the town. 
 
"And they need to stay where civilians are in imminent threat,” exclaims Rovera.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George 1349 from: UK
January 27, 2014 8:45 PM
Why was the world quiet when the Muslims were butchering the Christians? Now is pay back time and rightly so. The world needs to wake up to the evil that is Islam everywhere before we are all butchered like Gunner Lee Rugby (London 2013). Every warzone in the world is because of Islam.
In Response

by: Peter from: Europe
January 31, 2014 12:51 AM
well, Gorge I desagree ,remeber when 150,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serbian Christians in Bosnia(EU and West did not care at all,they even gave Serbs their own Republic that is founded on ground of murder and genocide within Bosnia) , and Russians killed Muslims by hundreds of thousands in Caucauses and southern Russian Republiks. Muslims are also killed, so are Christians and other groups in all these civil wars that are product of pos-colonial world that graet powers of the world (EU,USA ,France UK) dont do much about and UN is powrless organization just like in the case of Bosnia,Rewanda,Syriya,Iraq,Egypat and there is hopfully no more ...let hope for peace,justice and prosperity for all.
In Response

by: Fares from: UK
January 28, 2014 2:15 AM
George, really sad to hear that you feel that way. All these conflicts are due to the greed of the few exploiting the uneducated masses by twisting religion and spreading lies. I agree with you that the world needs to wake up to the evil, but of those that wage wars for profit. Ask a Muslim how he feels about the wars raging ar

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs