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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora