News / Africa

Bangui: Awash in Desperation and Fear

Bangui: Awash in Desperation and Feari
X
December 25, 2013 10:06 PM
As battles continued Wednesday between Christian and Muslim militia groups in the Central African Republic's war-torn capital, Bangui, images emerged of a city awash in desperation and fear. In videotaped interviews obtained by VOA over the past few days, Bangui residents spoke of displacement, hardship and rape.
Bangui: Awash in Desperation and Fear
As battles continued Wednesday between Christian and Muslim militia groups in the Central African Republic's war-torn capital, Bangui, images emerged of a city awash in desperation and fear.

In videotaped interviews obtained by VOA over the past few days, Bangui residents spoke of displacement, hardship and systematic rape.

"We don’t like it. We've been displaced for two weeks now," said one unidentified woman. "There is nothing for us. They know we are in the midsts of bandits. We asked them to bring in [humanitarian aid], but they refused. We haven’t seen anything," she said.

Tens of thousands of Christians have taken refuge at the Bangui airport, which is controlled by French troops, since sectarian bloodletting erupted early this month in the former French colony.

"Yes, the Seleka are coming to [the Bangui district of] Boy Rabe and raping women, that’s why we [moved] here, and we’re asking for help because we have nothing here [in displacement]," an unidentified man told VOA.

A solider from the 3,700-strong African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic, known as MISCA, said the group is working to improve security.

"If something happens, we will act. We need peace in Bangui. We don’t want any more shooting here. That’s all," he said.

In the video, MISCA soldiers can be seen detaining suspects. Later, French troops work together with a MISCA contingent to search civilians at a roadblock near the airport.

The conflict ripping the country apart began when the mostly Muslim rebel forces known as Seleka, or Alliance, overthrew the government in March, ousting President Francois Bozize.

A new interim government lost control of the rebels, who went on a countrywide spree of looting and killing, prompting Christians to form vigilante groups in response.

Violent acts against civilians and private property committed by both sides - including killings, rape and pillaging - escalated earlier this month when Christian fighters attempted to seize control of Bangui.

"We've been here [at the airport] for two weeks," a woman told VOA. It's long enough, she said.

Fall reported from Bangui and Snowiss from Washington.

Mark Snowiss

Mark Snowiss is a Washington D.C.-based multimedia reporter.  He has written and edited for various media outlets including Pacifica and NPR affiliates in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @msnowiss and on Google Plus

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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