News / Europe

French Troops Cheered on Arrival in CAR Capital

A French army patrol dismounts at the scene of sectarian violence in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 7, 2013.
A French army patrol dismounts at the scene of sectarian violence in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 7, 2013.
VOA News
French troops received a triumphant welcome Saturday on the streets of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, as warplanes and helicopters swooped low over the embattled city and residents cheered.
 
The deployment came as French President Francois Hollande said French reinforcements to a United Nations-mandated force would reach 1,600 by the end of the day — 400 more than originally planned.
 
Hollande, speaking in Paris, said the French force had been ordered to disarm "all militias and armed groups terrorizing the population" in the city, where relief workers have collected hundreds of corpses since Thursday.
 
Residents were quoted as saying an earlier order by CAR President Michel Djotodia for all armed groups to withdraw from street fighting went largely unheeded. Djotodia also urged civil servants and traders in the city to return to work and said "African and French forces will assure the protection of all."
 
Separately, the French president questioned the effectiveness of the Djotodia government, telling France 24 television "you can't leave a president in power who hasn't managed to change anything or who has let things get worse."
 
Hollande also called for elections in the CAR by 2015, and said French forces will remain in the former French colony "as long as necessary."
 
The impoverished CAR spiraled into chaos and violence after the rebel Seleka movement seized power in March, ousting President Francois Bozize.
 
President Djotodia's weak interim government has been unable to exert control over mostly Muslim ex-Seleka fighters, who are blamed for a surge in killings and other crimes. However, analysts say the mostly Christian armed opposition groups known as anti-balaka — balaka means machete — also have contributed to the violence.
 
The group Doctors Without Borders says medical facilities in Bangui have been overloaded with wounded patients. The organization said many of the patients had been shot or injured in machete or knife attacks.

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.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches Decision

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Daniel Brochardé from: Libreville
December 08, 2013 8:41 PM
The CAR should be annexed by France forcefully. Then Mali, Mauritania and Chad. So now the africans shall behave orderly under EU administration.


by: Dillo82 from: Conakry
December 08, 2013 2:31 AM
The situation in central concern all africans . This IS resoult of unresponsalite of african leaders. Africa much avoid war because till now it remain the porest continent.


by: WorkingMan from: New Orleans, LA
December 07, 2013 6:21 PM
Why are French troops being put at risk, French resources being squandered and French internal concerned being ignored to save these people from killing each other? These are the same people whose recent ancestors basically tossed the French out only a few decades ago.

Let them slug it out among themselves, when they get tired of killing each other they'll settle back down into their sullen monotony of eking out a living as they do.

What gratitude will the French people get even for this exercise in futility? More unwanted, un-needed immigrants at best. Let them sort their own problems out.

In Response

by: andy from: swiss
December 08, 2013 9:13 AM
France has a pretty big army and this is a good exercise for them, I know a few French soldiers and they are happy to go.

It's not Iraq, they get cheered as saviors when they get there, the population is on their side and they all speak french (remember its an ex colony) there's a sort of kinship.

Europe has a complicated past. We're also trying to atone for our sins with these people, CAR is home to waring tribes becasue of French drawn borders.

In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
December 08, 2013 12:12 AM
French forces just came there only to protect their own interests not to safe Africans from itself.
French government by nature is egotistical, history have shown that they are indifferent to the well-being of others especially black people. French should not expect any gratitude from their self-centred actions in Africa.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid