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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs