News / Africa

In CAR, Pockets of Resistance Persist

Armed Seleka rebel alliance fighters patrol streets in pickup trucks to stop looting, Bangui, Central African Republic, March 26, 2013.
Armed Seleka rebel alliance fighters patrol streets in pickup trucks to stop looting, Bangui, Central African Republic, March 26, 2013.
Reuters
Rebel forces and international peacekeepers mopped up pockets of resistance on Wednesday in Central African Republic after a weekend coup, but life in the capital was mostly returning to normal after three days of looting.
 
Up to 5,000 rebels swept into the riverside town on Sunday, killing at least 13 South African soldiers in intense fighting and forcing President Francois Bozize to flee in the latest conflict to destabilize the landlocked former French colony.
 
The Seleka rebel coalition struggled to stamp out the chaos that ensued and was forced to appeal to peacekeepers from neighboring central African states to help control gunmen looting houses, business, U.N. offices and even hospitals.
 
"Security is okay but it is not perfect," said a senior United Nations official, adding there were still the dregs of pro-Bozize militias. "There are still some pockets of resistance."
 
"Arms were distributed to youth in certain neighborhoods by the outgoing president," the official said.
 
He said conditions were slowly improving in the sprawling capital, easing fears of a major humanitarian crisis.
 
"Things are starting to pick up,'' he told Reuters.  "We need doctors and nurses to come back to work, and supplies of power and drugs. I hope it will only take a few days to sort out."
 
A senior source with the FOMAC regional peacekeeping force said 100 government troops were holed up at a military base at Berengo, 60 km from the capital, refusing to surrender to rebel forces.
 
"They don't want to fight, just surrender and go home to their families. We will organize their evacuation," said the source, who asked not to be identified.
 
Keeping his promise to honor a power-sharing deal signed in January, self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia officially reappointed Nicolas Tiangaye, a civilian opposition figure, as prime minister tasked with leading a transitional government.
 
The United States, France and regional powers have insisted the rebels must honor the Libreville accord, signed in January in the Gabonese capital, which called for a transitional unity government till elections in 2016.
 
Reports of improved security

Businesses reopened and traffic took to the streets of Bangui. A Reuters correspondent in Bangui said markets were open on Wednesday but many lacked food.
 
Electricity, cut off since Saturday when rebels struck a hydroelectric power station in a nearby town, had been restored in most neighborhoods but there was still no running water in many parts of the city, he said.
 
"The security situation is beginning to improve," Jean-Pierre Sandou, a sergeant with the roughly 1,000-strong five-FOMAC force, patrolling the crumbling city of 600,000 people.
 
South African soldiers battled the rebels for hours but troops from the FOMAC force did not try to prevent their advance, which came a decade to the month after Bozize himself seized power in a coup.
 
France's troops in the country also refused to intervene, saying they would only protect French citizens, as Paris steps away from its traditional role as Africa's policeman.
 
The United Nations and the African Union condemned the takeover, which came after a collapse in the January peace deal signed after a previous rebel advance to the gates of the capital in December.
 
Central African Republic has rich deposits of gold, diamonds and uranium but it remains one of the world's least developed and most unstable nations.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid