News / Africa

Thousands Block CAR Flights in Plea for Help

A Congolese policeman stands guard as more than 1,000 people living in a makeshift camp for the displaced at Mpoko Airport create a barrier across the runway, shouting for President Michel Djotodia to step down, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 31, 2013.
A Congolese policeman stands guard as more than 1,000 people living in a makeshift camp for the displaced at Mpoko Airport create a barrier across the runway, shouting for President Michel Djotodia to step down, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 31, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Thousands of people caught up in fighting in Central African Republic blocked the runway of its international airport on Tuesday, demanding more aid and the resignation of the president.
 
Families and other refugees chanted anti-government slogans near a makeshift camp where they have taken shelter since clashes erupted between mostly Muslim Seleka fighters and Christian militias early in December.
 
Many had arrived in the morning, still loaded with luggage, fleeing a second night of heavy shelling in the capital Bangui.
 
“We are going to stop the takeoff and landing of planes to draw more attention from the international community,” said camp resident Rene Kaimba.
 
An Air France flight was canceled on Tuesday while aid and U.N. flights were also affected, said aid workers. French troops, sent in to try and control the violence in their former colony, surrounded the crowd.
 
Some called for the country's interim President Michel Djotodia to step down. He seized power in March alongside Seleka, a loose coalition of rebel forces.
 
Central African Republic remains one of Africa's poorest states for all its mineral resources. It has seen five coups and several rebellions since independence from France in 1960.
 
“The Central Africans have suffered too much and been here almost a month without a solution,” said M. Igor Kamdom, another displaced person at the camp. “That's why we invaded the runway, so that the President Djotodia resigns.”
 
Risks to Population
 
French and African troops have struggled to stop the violence that has killed more than 1,000 people this month after Christians, who have long complained of abuses by Seleka forces, launched reprisal attacks.
 
Humanitarian workers say that ongoing violence is making it difficult to protect the more than 800,000 that have fled their homes across the country.
 
Milan-based aid group Emergency said a children's clinic had run out of blood and appealed for donations.
 
“Doctors are struggling to treat people with serious wounds, or children with anemia - a consequence of malaria,” Ombretta Pasotti, Medical Coordinator at Emergency's Pediatric Center in Bangui, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
 
The U.N.'s World Food Program said it was scaling up deliveries to up to 1.25 million people.
 
International Rescue Committee country director Sarah Terlouw said water shortages and a lack of toilet facilities in camps had increased the risk of disease.
 
“At one camp we had just one water point for 12,000 people. The people are very vulnerable to outbreaks of cholera and typhoid,” she told Reuters on Tuesday.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid