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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid