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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.