News / Africa

Chad Withdrawal from CAR Raises Risks

A Chadian soldier, part of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, keeps guard during the beginning of a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, Jan. 22, 2014.
A Chadian soldier, part of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, keeps guard during the beginning of a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, Jan. 22, 2014.
Anne Look
Many people in the Central African Republic are welcoming Chad's decision to withdraw its troops from the African Union peacekeeping force in the country.  However, there is concern that trouble between the two countries could impede efforts to re-establish government control over the northeast, much of which is still under the control of the ex-Seleka rebel coalition. 

The news that Chad is withdrawing troops from the peacekeeping force in the C.A.R. came as a surprise Thursday.  As it filtered through the streets of Bangui, many nodded in approval.

A man said it was a wish come true because Chad has meddled in the C.A.R.'s affairs too much over the past two decades.

Others said Chad's involvement in this ongoing crisis has simply grown too controversial.

He said Chadian troops kept being implicated in too many incidents hurting civilians and they were accused of abuses in the interior of the country.  He said even when they did good, it was misinterpreted. "They are always accused of being pro-Muslim and that causes problems," so he said, "it is better they just go."

In Bangui, it is not uncommon to hear people use the terms Chadian, Muslim and Seleka interchangeably.

In a Muslim part of town, the PK5 neighborhood, people said Chad's departure was "a little worrying."

A man said the anti-balaka militia were afraid of Chad.  He said "they know if Chad iss there, they can't attack us."

Chad's Foreign Ministry, in its statement withdrawing its peacekeepers, said "despite the sacrifices made, Chad and Chadians are the target of a gratuitous and malicious campaign blaming them for all the suffering" of the C.A.R.

The announcement came amid public outrage after Chadian forces opened fire in Bangui's PK12 neighborhood on March 29.  U.N. human rights investigators said Friday that at least 30 people were killed and more than 300 injured.  

It was unclear whether anti-balaka militia had provoked the soldiers.  Survivors told VOA that Chadian troops fired indiscriminately as bystanders fled a market area in panic.

C.A.R.'s transitional government pledged to investigate the incident, something that may have irked Chadian authorities.

Chad's military is seen as one of the most capable in Africa.  Chad currently contributes about 850 of the 6,000 soldiers in the AU peacekeeping force, known as MISCA.

Chad also sent in its army to evacuate tens of thousands of Muslim civilians from the C.A.R. as inter-communal killing raged early this year.

Chad did not give a timeline for its withdrawal from MISCA.  Analysts said the pullout could be a setback for the already overtaxed and under-resourced MISCA force.

Chadian MISCA troops are currently deployed in the north and northeast, in zones still under the control of the ex-Seleka rebel coalition.  The C.A.R.'s transitional government wants to regain control of that area.

Central Africa expert at the Paris-based National Center for Scientific Research, Roland Marchal, said for that reason, Bangui cannot let relations with N'djamena go sour.

He said President Idriss Deby was angry but his attitude was likely to evolve.  He said a small contingent of Chadian forces, not in the MISCA, could remain to keep an eye on the north and the east of the C.A.R.  He said this was not just about the C.A.R.'s territorial integrity.  Chad also did not want trouble on its southern border.

On Friday, the C.A.R.'s Foreign Ministry expressed "regret" at Chad's decision to withdraw from MISCA but said it remained "reassured" of Chad's continued support in the resolution of this crisis.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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