News / Africa

    Former Rebel Fighters Go Missing in CAR

    A former Seleka soldier holds his weapon as he keeps guard from a vehicle during an operation of transferring all former Seleka soldiers from their main base Camp de Roux to a smaller base in the north of the capital Bangui on January 27, 2014.
    A former Seleka soldier holds his weapon as he keeps guard from a vehicle during an operation of transferring all former Seleka soldiers from their main base Camp de Roux to a smaller base in the north of the capital Bangui on January 27, 2014.
    Nick Long
    A large group of ex-rebel fighters appears to have gone missing in the Central African Republic, according to the African Union military mission in the country. 

    A spokesman for the African Union mission says a number of combatants from Seleka, the largely Muslim ex-rebel movement, left the C.A.R. capital over the last two days with a convoy of AU Chadian troops, heading towards the north of the country .

    But spokesman Eloi Yao said when the Chadians arrived at Bossangoa, 350 kilometers north of Bangui, the Seleka fighters were no longer with them.

    Numerous reports have suggested many of the Seleka are in fact Chadian or Sudanese mercenaries, so they may have felt the departure of AU troops was a signal for them to leave too.

    AU Chadian troops have in the past two months been accused of taking sides with the Seleka in their fight against largely Christian militias known as anti-Balaka.

    Yao said there are estimates of hundreds of Seleka leaving Bangui with the Chadians this week.  But most probably remain in Bangui, he said.  Their number was put at 6,000.

    A military spokesman for the Seleka in Bangui, Mahamat Doungba, said in an interview with VOA that the soldiers want to join the C.A.R. army.

    He says all their fighters are ready to join a national army.  Some, he said, are also ready to be disarmed and demobilized, while others are determined to join the army because they want to serve their country.

    Doungba was asked what the foreign fighters with the Seleka intend to do.

    They have all left, he replied.  All those who are here now, Doungba said, are Central Africans. All the foreigners have already left.

    It is not clear whether the Seleka combatants who left Bangui are leaving the country or have taken up positions in towns to the north of Bangui.

    Rebels still control strategic towns across the country, but have pulled out of some towns in the west where they have been coming under attack from the anti-Balaka militia.

    A new government was announced Tuesday, consisting of 20 ministers, including seven women, three former members of the Seleka alliance, and one individual associated with the anti-Balaka.

    Observers agree the new ministers are mostly technocrats chosen for their expertise.  A few were ministers in previous governments, but not many seem to be party political appointments.  The new interim president and prime minister are not themselves party politicians.  

    A spokesman and self-proclaimed military coordinator of the anti-Balaka, former government minister Joachin Kokate, told VOA that the movement wants the crisis in the C.A.R. to end.

    He says our members are in an emotional state, but movement leaders are calling on them to stay calm.  He says he is sure there will be a response from the head of state or the prime minister whereby everyone on both sides will find an occupation so as to end this crisis, which, he said, has gone on long enough.

    But an unconfirmed report said at least seven people were killed Tuesday in Bangui, and several others died Monday, while other attacks, particularly against the Muslim minority, are reported in the provinces.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Kaine Project Optimism in First Joint Campaign Event

    Kaine, a moderate, has potential to attract voters repelled by Donald Trump and those who may have a hard time fully embracing Clinton

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora