News / Africa

CAR Displaced Nearing One Million

  • A girl pushes a hand cart past burning houses in Bossangoa, north of Bangui, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • A woman looks at burning houses in Bossangoa, north of Bangui, Jan. 3, 2014.
  • Ex-Seleka rebel soldiers are pictured at their base in Bossangoa, north of Bangui, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • French soldiers patrol villages in Bossangoa, north of Bangui, Jan. 2, 2014.
  • French soldiers drive past burning houses in Bossangoa, north of Bangui, Jan. 2, 2014.

Images from Central African Republic

Joe DeCapua
The number of displaced people in Central African Republic is edging closer to one-million, as insecurity and fighting continue. Armed Muslim and Christian groups continue to battle in the capital and elsewhere, but are also targeting civilians. Humanitarian agencies are having a difficult time reaching those in need.


U.N. refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch  says the number of displaced people has risen sharply in recent weeks.

“On 24th of December, we had 710,000 displaced in the country. Today that number has [risen] to over 935,000 people, who are displaced inside CAR,” he said.

Former Seleka rebels, who are Muslim, are fighting armed Christian groups known as anti-Balaka.  Early last year, the rebels, led by Michel Djotodia, toppled then-president Francois Bozize. Mr. Djotodia is now president and has incorporated some of the rebels into the army. However, he has no control over those who were not. The ex-Seleka rebels began attacking civilians, which led to the rise of the anti-Balaka groups. Now civilians on both sides are being targeted. Inter-communal violence has been heavy since December 5th.

“Violence, looting, killings just continue unabated,” said Baloch.

Most of the displaced in Central African Republic are in the capital.

“In Bangui today we have over half a million people, who are displaced. Around a hundred thousand of those are seeking refuge at Bangui’s international airport, while others are spread in the host communities,” he said.

The UNHCR said the violence has made it very difficult to reach those host families and deliver aid. Most of the displaced in Bangui are spread out over 67 different locations.

In Bossangoa – some 300 kilometers north of the capital – fighting and looting continue as well. The number of displaced people has been on the rise there, too.

UNHCR said that better security is essential for aid agencies to do their jobs. The U.N. agency and other aid groups are relying on the African Union peacekeeping force – known as MISCA – which may soon number 6,000.

UNHCR has organized airlifts to bring tents, blankets, plastic sheets and other supplies from regional warehouses in Nairobi, Accra, Dubai and Doula. However, insecurity at the airport could delay distribution of those supplies.

UNHCR’s Baloch said tens of thousands of people fled the country last year.

“Since the violence broke out in the country March 2013 till now, we have around 75,000 people that have fled the Central African Republic to the neighboring countries.”

That’s raised the total number of CAR refugees in DRC, Chad Cameroon and elsewhere to about 240,000.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid