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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid