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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid