News / Africa

CAR Sees Rise in Inter-communal Violence

French President Francois Hollande, third right, and his Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, second right, inspect arms confiscated from ex-Seleka rebels and Anti-balaka militia by the French military of operation Sangaris, and displayed at a French mili
French President Francois Hollande, third right, and his Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, second right, inspect arms confiscated from ex-Seleka rebels and Anti-balaka militia by the French military of operation Sangaris, and displayed at a French mili

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to De Capua report on displaced in Central African Republic

Joe DeCapua
The UN refugee agency says violence in the Central African Republic has become more widespread, with more civilians being displaced and put at risk. The UNHCR estimates more than two-thousand people have been killed in the country since inter-communal violence erupted in December.
 
UNHCR spokesperson Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said that there’s insecurity in and outside the capital, Bangui.
 
“Unfortunately, in CAR we’re seeing renewed violence, communal violence, following stepped-up attacks by the anti-balaka militiamen against Muslim populations and against the African Union peacekeeping force. At the same time, last week, in Bangui, a group of Muslim youth attacked Christians during a funeral ceremony killing 20 of the mourners,” she said.
 
Anti-balaka militias formed and began revenge attacks last December against Seleka rebels. The rebel offensive had led to the toppling of the CAR president early last year. The rebels began attacking civilians – mostly Christians and those practicing traditional beliefs.
 
At the height of the communal violence, about one-million people were displaced within CAR – most of them in Bangui.
 
She said, “For the past few months we had seen the number of displaced people go down. But then since the past two weeks or so this number is rising, especially last week when we saw renewed attacks by the anti-balaka. Now we have 637,000 people displaced. This is the first time we’re seeing the number of displaced go up in months.”
 
That’s an increase of some 16,000 people. About 207,000 of the displaced are in Bangui today.
 
Lejeune-Kaba said UNHCR is very concerned about nearly 20,000 Muslims in four locations – the PK-12 neighborhood of Bangui and in Boda, Carnot, Berberati and Bossangoa.
 
“We have pockets of Muslim communities that are trapped and can’t leave. If they do, they risk being killed by the anti-balaka. And the only reason why they have not been killed so far is because they are protected by foreign forces – the French troops and the African Union forces, MISCA. These are people who have been in such a situation for two to three months now. And they’re asking to be evacuated by the U.N.,” she said.
 
U.N. agencies have sent a mission to the north of CAR to scout possible places where the displaced can be safely relocated.
 
More than 80,000 people have fled CAR to the neighboring countries of Cameroon, the DRC, Republic of Congo and Chad.
 
“We are trying to help as much as we can, but with the low funding it’s not possible to provide the level of assistance that people need, particularly in Cameroon, where people are coming exhausted, malnourished in many cases. But progressively, we are moving them to camps. And the main challenge is providing clean water because we have to dig wells and boreholes to ensure that they get clean water,” she said.
 
Lejeune-Kaba said many need medical attention after walking for weeks in the bush before crossing the border.
 
“The fact that now we’re seeing renewed violence means that it’s even more difficult for the refugees in the surrounding countries to feel that they can go back home, although that’s what they want. Similarly, for the internally displaced it’s becoming more difficult for them to return to their neighborhoods for those who are in Bangui or to the places of origin for those who are outside of the capital.”
 
Anti-balaka militias control many of the roads to and from the capital. Often truck drivers have refused to take aid supplies from Cameroon to Bangui without an armed escort. UNHCR has called for more African and international troops to better protect civilians in CAR.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs