News / Africa

US Closes Embassy in CAR, Evacuates Staff

VOA News
The United States has temporarily shut down its embassy in the Central African Republic and evacuated the staff, because of a rebel threat to topple the government.

A State Department spokesman Thursday said Washington is urging all parties to begin peace talks to offer a new vision of security for the country. He said U.S. diplomatic relations with the C.A.R. are not affected.

The United Nations already has evacuated non-essential staff from the country because of the threat of violence.

Rebel fighters are about 300 kilometers from the capital, Bangui. They have said they have no plans to seize the city, but say they will not wait around if government forces make any moves against them.

The rebel coalition called Seleka has captured 10 towns since launching its offensive two weeks ago. It has threatened to overthrow President Francois Bozize, accusing him of failing to implement a 2007 peace accord that ended an earlier rebellion.

The C.A.R. won independence from France in 1960. About 250 French troops are in the country as part of a peacekeeping mission. Some in the C.A.R. want France to do more to counter the rebel threat.

French President Francois Hollande says France is in the C.A.R. to protect its interests and nationals, not to intervene in the country's business.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Diamonds
December 27, 2012 10:56 PM
Sadly Africa has a bad record of such conflicts, Congo,Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Zimbabwe to mention a few. In many instances these Countries were abandoned by the West for reasons best known to themselves, resulting in ongoing conflicts and numerous loss of lives.
In Response

by: patriote from: USA
December 29, 2012 10:22 PM
When rebels advance closer to Bangui the capital of Central African Republic our country, everybody focus on talking about how the general BOZIZE’s regime hurts the country and nobody, I say nobody – through different articles I came across on internet – is wondering what’s the becoming of the country if the regime of François BOZIZE which is qualified to be democratic by some and pseudo democratic by others, was overthrown by this group of people with unknown origin. The purpose her is neither to debate about the politic beliefs of some compared with that of others nor to heap opprobrium on a politic party or regime but to give a chance to Central Africans of here and there to think about important matters regarding their country, coming up at this time, before making the decision to support a group according to their understanding. There are more questions than I can list but I’m gonna write some down; please, feel free to complete the list.
1- How long will this wounded country try to recover for the nth time after this unfortunate invasion?
2- What consequences for the economy of our country?
3- What’s the real interest of this rebellion for our country? I think by the way that the SPONSORS and authors know more about this point than Central African people do.
4- United States of America has shut down its embassy in Central African Republic and evacuated the staff; what consequences for our country?
5- What investor can endorse the risk of investing in CAR as long as we do not change our mentality? We are the most easy to trick people in the world, transforming our county to a doormat so that dealer of I don’t know what have cleaned feet when they are in. The instability is the first reason of non investment in our country and people don’t need bunch of graduations to understand it. Even people born in CAR living abroad spend time to think about it when it comes to buy a land or construct in CAR. What shame it is!
There are more questions than I can list as stated obove and I’m not an expert so, feel free to complete.
What I desire the most is that the time when destructive and selfish behavior of using weapons to accomplish scatterbrain ambitions to the detriment of the interest of Central African people that nobody cares about comes to end in CAR. A basic Central African as me needs it to be positive when it comes to talk about the country he loves and wants peace in it.
If there is an undemocratic regime in the country, why not thinking about a democratically legal way of ending it? My opinion is that sometimes, we simply forget that we have a brain we can use.
I love peace in my country, I’m planning to invest and live in it one day. Do not destroy it if you have some humanism!
Please respect the others while debating.

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs