News / Africa

France Says Urgent Action Needed to Aid CAR

Reuters
— France's foreign minister said on Monday there was an urgent need to tackle the crisis in the Central African Republic and called for strengthening an African peacekeeping force.
 
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, Laurent Fabius warned that a lack of international response risked destabilizing the entire region.
 
Land-locked, mineral-rich Central African Republic has slipped into chaos since northern Seleka rebels seized the capital Bangui and ousted President Francois Bozize in March. U.N. officials and rights groups say both sides may have committed war crimes.
 
“It is absolutely urgent to act. We are facing a serious security situation and we don't want to let this serious situation degenerate and through contagion make the situation extremely complicated in the entire region,” Fabius said.
 
Fabius is hosting a summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25 to discuss the crisis, which he said needed to send a clear message.
 
Former colonial power France - which intervened earlier this year to oust Islamist rebels from another one of its former colonies, Mali - has been reluctant to get directly involved in the crisis. It has urged African nations and the African Union to do their utmost to resolve the crisis among themselves.
 
But while the African Union plans to deploy a 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission - known as MISCA - in the country, incorporating a regional force of 1,100 soldiers already on the ground, it is unlikely to be operational before 2014.
 
The African Union has asked financial, logistical and technical support from the United Nations and senior U.N. officials recommended last month that the U.N. Security Council approve this request.
 
The African Union and United Nations planned to send experts to the Central African Republic to assess exactly what was needed and U.N. diplomats said that on the basis of those reports the Security Council would respond with a resolution.
 
U.N. envoy to Central African Republic, retired Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye, and U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic both last month signaled to the Security Council that the AU force would not be enough to combat the crisis in the country, which borders six other states.
 
“We want to pass the message that it is imperative to strengthen the MISCA,” Fabius said.
 
France has a small force in Bangui securing the airport and its local interests. French diplomatic sources said earlier this week Paris would be ready to provide logistical support and increase its troop numbers to 700-750 men if needed.
 
Michel Djotodia, who swept to power at the head of the rebellion, was officially sworn in as the country's president last month but he has failed to contain waves of looting and killing by gunmen.
 
Djotodia earlier this month sacked the head of the armed forces after days of clashes with fighters loyal to Bozize killed 100 people.
 
CAR is rich in gold, diamonds and uranium but decades of instability and the spillover from conflicts in its larger neighbors have left the nation's 4.5 million people mired in cycles of crises.
 
A mix of local rebellions, banditry, ethnic tensions and spillover of conflicts from neighbors have long undermined efforts to stabilize the landlocked former French colony.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid