News / Africa

Amnesty International Expresses Worry over CAR Violence

French Special Forces race through Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 5, 2013.
French Special Forces race through Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 5, 2013.
Peter Clottey
A senior crisis response adviser at the United Kingdom-based Amnesty International has expressed concern about the security situation in the Central African Republic following fierce clashes between rival armed groups in the capital, Bangui.

Joanne Mariner said it appears law and order has broken down in the city after the house of Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye was ransacked. Mr. Tiangaye, who is currently abroad, at an international conference, has called for France’s military intervention to help resolve the escalating security situation.

“[We] are extremely concerned about the security of the civilian population, because this is part of a larger pattern.  The pattern is that the ex-Seleka forces [have] a record of attacking the civilian population in reprisal for attacks by these anti-government [groups] known as the anti-Balika forces. So, when they can catch the anti-Balika militants, they go after the people they believe support them, and they are very indiscriminate,” said Mariner.

Tiangaye’s call comes as the United Nations Security Council authorized French and African Union troops to use force to protected civilians.

Mariner said some of the armed groups are using child soldiers to carry out their violent activities.

  “We have very credible information that the attack this morning was made up of a number of child soldiers with the teenagers aged 11 to 15,” said Mariner. “They were driven out of the city fairly early on, but on both sides there were very serious attacks on the population.”

Some observers say the security situation is forcing thousands of residents in Bangui to flee, sharply increasing the number of internally displaced people after the overthrow of President Francois Bozize last March.

Mariner said the latest wave of violence has created panic and raised tension among the civilian population, especially in the capital, Bangui.

“They are terrorized,” said Mariner. “People are staying indoors, locking their doors and there [are] reports of different forces going house to house looking for people and killing people.”

She said CAR citizens and other nationals are hopeful an international military can help end the wave of violence, protect civilians and to stabilize the country.

“There is really complete lawlessness here, and people are just hoping that international forces will arrive and restore order. But at this point we are again hearing gunfire, and there is just no control [over] armed groups,” said Mariner.

Meanwhile, CAR leader Michel Djotodia has reportedly called for a strong enforcement of a dusk to dawn curfew.

  “There is an existing curfew that means that at 6 O’clock [pm] nobody is supposed to be out [in] the street, and he said that is going to be strictly enforced,” said Mariner. “But we are hearing quite a lot of gunfire and also heavy weaponry in the morning, it calmed down during the day, but now we are hearing gunfire again. So clearly the situation is not under control.”

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. Mariner said the AU led troops have started arriving with some troops from neighboring Congo Republic.
Clottey interview with Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International crisis adviser
Clottey interview with Joanne Mariner, Amnesty International crisis adviser i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid