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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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 in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid