World News

Dozens Killed in Fighting in CAR Capital

Deadly fighting wracked the capital of the Central African Republic Thursday, as the United Nations approved deployment of more foreign troops to stabilize the country.

Medical aid group Doctors Without Borders reports that clashes in Bangui have left at least 50 people dead and 90 others wounded, mostly from gun, machete or knife attacks.

A movement allied to former CAR president Francois Bozize has claimed responsibility for attacks around the capital.

Lin Banoukepa, who heads a pro-Bozize movement known as FROCCA, tells VOA that fighters are attempting to oust the rebels who toppled Bozize back in March.



Speaking by telephone from Paris, he said the fighters are striving to "restore the constitutional order, the constitution and elected officials in their duties." He says Francois Bozize is the president and not a rebel leader. He goes on to say when the Seleka rebels are out, FROCCA will restore the rule of law and restore Francois Bozize.

Spokesman for CAR interim President Michel Djotodia had blamed Bozize supporters for the violence in Bangui.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council authorized France and the African Union to strengthen their forces in the CAR, in hopes of restoring calm.

An AU stabilization force, known as MISCA, will consist of about 3,600 troops. They will be supported by the French force, numbering about 1,200.



The resolution passed Thursday also imposes a one-year arms embargo on the CAR, although supplies intended for African and French forces are excepted from the ban.

In an interview with VOA , deputy AU chairman Erastus Mwencha said his hope is that CAR's unrest can be contained as much as possible until the African forces arrive.



"It is very clear that the country is on the precipice of a major crisis. Many communities are fighting each other and it is extremely worrisome. And, the sooner that we can bring in a stabilization force so that Central Africa (Republic) can go back and have elections and bring in a government that help the country maintain law and order, the better."



The United Nations measure also calls for U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to recommend within three months whether to form a U.N. peacekeeping force, which he has said could involve up to 9,000 troops.

The CAR spiraled downward after the rebel movement Seleka took power eight months ago. The weak interim government was unable to exert control over the rebel fighters, who were blamed for a surge in murder, rape, robbery and auto theft.

U.N. officials have warned the violence has taken on a sectarian tone, with the mostly Muslim Seleka fighters battling mostly Christian defense groups known as "anti-balaka."

In his interview with VOA, Banoukepa said the anti-balaka are Central Africans who want to free the country from "jihadists" who he said came from Sudan and Chad.

The CAR has endured decades of instability since winning independence from France in 1960.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs