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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid