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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora