News / Africa

IOM Condemns Grenade Attack on Central African Republic Convoy

Photo from PK-12 relocation convoyPhoto from PK-12 relocation convoy
x
Photo from PK-12 relocation convoy
Photo from PK-12 relocation convoy

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
A convoy of 18 trucks carrying an estimated 1,300 Muslims from a threatened refugee enclave in the capital city of the Central African Republic was expected to arrive safely on April 29 in the northern towns of Kabo and Moyan-Sido. They were being escorted by foreign peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in CAR (MISCA).   The mission began April 27.

However, on their three-day journey through the nation’s communal warfare the convoy was attacked by grenade-throwing militiamen believed to be Christians identified as anti-Balaka. 
 
Two passengers died and seven were wounded in the attack.
 
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) which provided logistical support for the convoy condemned the April 27 attack on the convoy in Dissikou.
 
Giuseppe Loprete, the IOM chief of mission in Bangui, described the events that unfolded after they load the refugees who had been trapped in a part of Bangui called PK-12 by armed Christian militias.
 
Muslims trapped in the capital
 
“They were all stranded, trapped in PK-12 since December,” Loprete said. “Basically, they were trying to leave Bangui when everything happened and they couldn’t.  They’ve been surrounded by the anti-Balaka, and basically they were trapped for four months.”
 
The convoy's destination was Kabo and Moyen-Sido in northeastern Central African Republic, home to the majority of the civilians in the convoy.
 
Halfway through the three-day journey, they were attacked.
 
Loprete says they do not have all of the details of the attack. However, the two people who were killed have been identified as a 27-year-old woman and a 58-year-old man.
 
“UN-MISCA managed to respond to the attack so they could continue, and they stopped later on when they were in a safer area.
 
“The problem is there is no safe area now in the Central African Republic, so they are moving into an area of controlled alternatively by anti-Balaka, and Seleka,” said Loprete. 
 
Although thousands have fled the country’s four months of violence, this convoy was not part of a massive evacuation, Loprete said.
 
“PK-12 was a very different situation that we were trying to solve since December. The actual people from PK-12 are in the contained site here in Bangui, and they will most probably go back to PK-12 in the following days or weeks.”
 
More Muslims staying in Bangui
 
There is still a Muslim community present in Bangui located in PK-5, in the third district noted Loprete.  They are inside and around the central Mosque.
 
“There is no plan to evacuate them or to relocate them,” Loprete said. “We want them to stay and they told us - also the government - that if security is guaranteed they don’t want to go. 
 
“They want to stay in Bangui, but they want to be free to move.  They want to be free to cross the road without being attacked by the anti-Balaka groups.  They want to go to the market, and they want to have a normal life here as it was before December,” highlighted Loprete.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs