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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid