News / Africa

CAR Capital Tense After Militia Disarmament Operation

MISCA military soldiers check houses during an operation in the Boy-rabe neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 15, 2014.
MISCA military soldiers check houses during an operation in the Boy-rabe neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 15, 2014.
Anne Look
The C.A.R. capital Bangui remains tense Sunday, one day after French and African troops embarked on a major operation to disarm local militias known as the anti-balaka. Those groups are accused of carrying out revenge attacks against Muslims.  The attacks have caused tens of thousands to flee the capital in recent weeks.

It is here in the Boye Rabe neighborhood, the fiefdom of the anti-balaka, that French and African troops went door to door Saturday confiscating weapons and munitions and rounding up anti-balaka leaders.

The troops say they were acting at the request of state judicial authorities.

C.A.R.'s interim government has declared war on the anti-balaka. French and African Union troops say they are public enemy number one.

Here in Boye Rabe, anti-balaka members say if it is war they want, it is war they will get. They say they are getting ready. They say if the authorities want to provoke them, they will respond.

A spokesman for the anti-balaka says they are demanding the release of the 10 people that were arrested.

The militia's political coordinator, ex-minister Patrice Edouard Ngaissona - the so-called big fish of this loosely unified movement - evaded capture Saturday.

A banner hangs over the entry to Boye Rabe. It is addressed to the French force, Sangaris, and the AU troops known as MISCA. It says "the people are ready to take to the streets."

Some residents here say forcibly disarming the anti-balaka is a bad idea.

Resident Ngaro Nadine says "why did they arrest those leaders? They were not in uniform or out with any weapons."

She says "if you want to disarm the anti-balaka, it is better to first disarm the Seleka. It is the Seleka who have been massacring and killing. Now it is the anti-balaka who are strong."

She says the national army is weak and the population is depending on the anti-balaka for protection.

The anti-balaka say they want the same treatment as the Seleka rebels. They want to be barracked, paid and included in a forthcoming disarmament and reintegration process.

International troops say that is not going to happen.  

The C.A.R. has been in chaos since last March when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels from the north overthrew the government.

The anti-balaka rose up in opposition to widespread Seleka abuses against civilians. The anti-balaka include ex-military loyal to ousted president Francois Bozize.

They launched an assault on Seleka rebels in the capital in December.  Inter-communal killing ensued. The anti-balaka movement descended into mass looting and revenge attacks against the country's Muslim minority.

You May Like

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid