World News

    France Boosting Troop Presence in CAR to 1,600






    France has announced plans to increase its military presence in the Central African Republic to 1,600 troops, 400 more than originally planned in the volatile former French colony.

    French President Francois Holland announced the additional deployment on Saturday, saying the troops would remain in the troubled region for "as long as necessary."

    He commented at the end of a Paris summit with about 40 African leaders that focused on security. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon attended the summit. He called for urgent measures to help end the CAR's escalating violence.

    French forces have begun widening their presence in the CAR, where fighting between armed groups has left nearly 300 people dead over the past few days.

    The French intervention force, which had been patrolling the capital, Bangui, has begun deploying to western and northern parts of the country.

    Earlier Saturday, French defense ministry spokesman Gilles Jarron said the French contingent has reached its "full strength of 1,200 troops."



    In a VOA interview , Jarron said some soldiers had parachuted into Bangui. He said other troops had crossed into the CAR from Gabon and neighboring Cameroon.

    Thousands of cheering CAR residents were on hand, Saturday, to greet French forces arriving from Cameroon.

    However, violence was reported in the capital Saturday despite the increased French military presence.

    Thousands of residents have sought shelter and protection at the Bangui airport, which is under French control. Many other civilians have sought refuge in churches.

    The group Doctors Without Borders says medical facilities in Bangui have been overloaded with wounded patients. In a Saturday statement, the relief organization said many of the patients had been shot or injured in machete or knife attacks.



    The CAR spiraled downward into chaos and violence after the rebel Seleka movement seized power in March, ousting President Francois Bozize.

    President Michel Djotodia's weak interim government has been unable to exert control over mostly Muslim ex-Seleka fighters, who are blamed for a surge in murders and other crimes.

    Meanwhile, a mostly Christian armed opposition group known as the anti-Balaka has been contributing to violence and lawlessness.

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

    On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council authorized France to boost its troop presence in the former French colony.

    Also, an African troop contingent known as MISCA is expanding its forces from 2,500 to 3,600 troops.

    On Friday, the CAR government ordered all CAR security forces to "return to their barracks" in Bangui, leaving only French and MISCA forces to patrol the city.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora