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 Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs