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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs