World News

Bozize Movement Says It Is Behind Attacks in CAR Capital

A movement allied to former Central African Republic president Francois Bozize has claimed responsibility for attacks Thursday in the CAR capital, Bangui.

Lin Banoukepa, the leader of a pro-Bozize movement known as FROCCA, told VOA that fighters are attempting to oust the rebels who toppled Bozize back in March.

Speaking by telephone from Paris, he said the fighters are striving to "restore the constitutional order, the constitution and elected officials in their duties." He says Francois Bozize is the president and not a rebel leader. He goes on to say when the Seleka rebels are out, FROCCA will restore the rule of law and restore Francois Bozize.

A spokesman for CAR interim president Michel Djotodia, who took power after Bozize fled the country, had blamed Bozize supporters for the violence around parts of Bangui on Thursday.

The head of Doctors Without Borders in the CAR, Sylvain Groulx, told VOA that at least eight people were killed and at least 70 people were wounded in the fighting.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council has approved deployment of more French and African Union troops to the CAR.

A resolution adopted Thursday allows France and the African Union to bolster their military forces in the country to help restore order.

France has pledged to increase its presence in the country to about 1,000 troops, while an AU-led force known as MISCA is due to expand to 3,600 soldiers this month.

The resolution also imposes a one-year arms embargo on the CAR, although supplies intended for African Union and French forces are excepted from the ban.

In an interview with VOA , deputy AU chairman Erastus Mwencha said his hope is that CAR's unrest can be contained as much as possible until the African forces arrive.

"It is very clear that the country is on the precipice of a major crisis. Many communities are fighting each other and it is extremely worrisome. And, the sooner that we can bring in a stabilization force so that Central Africa can go back and have elections and bring in a government that help the country maintain law and order, the better."

The United Nations measure also calls for U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to recommend within three months whether to form a U.N. peacekeeping force, which he has said could involve up to 9,000 troops.

The CAR's weak interim government was unable to exert control over the rebel fighters after they pushed Bozize from power.

The mostly Muslim rebels have since been blamed for a surge in murder, rape, robbery and auto theft. Mostly Christian defense groups known as "anti-balaka" have sprung up in response.

In his interview with VOA, Banoukepa said the anti-balaka are Central Africans who want to free the country from "jihadists" who he said came from Sudan and Chad.

The U.N. said Wednesday gunmen killed at least 12 civilians northwest of Bangui in an attack they said appeared to be the work of Christian militiamen targeting mostly Muslim herders.

The CAR has endured decades of instability since winning independence from France in 1960.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs