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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs