News / Africa

CAR Rebels Threaten Capital, Regional Troops Send Reinforcements

Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
Anne Look
Rebels in the Central African Republic continue to threaten the capital, Bangui, as regional leaders work on opening peace talks in January, while deploying troop reinforcements to the frontline.  

Rebels in the Central African Republic say President Francois Bozize must go.  Their Paris-based spokesman told French television on Monday that they will push south to take Damara, about 75 kilometers from Bangui, if they are attacked.

Damara is the frontline defense for the capital.

About six dozen soldiers from Congo-Brazzaville arrived on Monday in Bangui to reinforce the Central African regional peacekeeping force, FOMAC, which is backing up government troops.  Gabon, Chad and Cameroon are also sending in reinforcements.

Congo's ambassador in Bangui, Gabriel Enteha Ebia says the rebels understand that they must stop their advance on Damara.  If FOMAC troops are attacked, the ambassador says they will defend themselves and prevent the rebels from taking the area.

The rebel group Seleka began its lightning offensive in the north on December 10.  On Saturday, the rebels took the city of Sibut, 186 kilometers from the capital.

Government troops have been outmatched.  They were unable to retake the city of Bambari on Friday.

Analysts say government forces did not have a strong presence in the now occupied areas. They say it is unclear how the rebels might fare against regional troops massing in Damara.

Residents of Bangui are anxiously celebrating the new year.  The capital is under strict curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On Sunday, President Bozize said he is willing to negotiate with the rebels without conditions, and that he would form a national unity government and not run for a third term in 2016.

A rebel spokesman said that they are open to talks, but under certain conditions, including the release of prisoners.

Seleka unites fighters from as many as four rebel groups in the north.  The rebels say the government failed to follow through on peace accords signed between 2007 and 2011 that included paying rebel fighters to disarm and integrating them into the army or back into civilian life.

The Central African Republic has been plagued by insecurity for decades.  President Bozize, a former army chief of staff, came to power during in 2003 coup d'etat.   

 


  • Soldiers patrol a street in Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • An end-of-year sign in French reading "happy holidays" hangs over a largely empty street in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • A bushmeat seller in the market in the Bimbo neighborhood of the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • Soldiers from the Congolese contingent of the Central African Multinational Force (FOMAC) arrive at an airport in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • People wait in line at the BSIC bank in in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.
  • Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A Central African Republic soldier walks past a vendor on a street in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A security guard sits near a closed shop in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs