News / Africa

France Sending More Troops to Central African Republic

FILE - Child soldiers of the Seleka coalition sits on a pickup truck near the Presidential palace in Bangui, March 25, 2013.
FILE - Child soldiers of the Seleka coalition sits on a pickup truck near the Presidential palace in Bangui, March 25, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
France has announced plans to boost its military presence in the Central African Republic to about 1,000 troops in a bid to support efforts to end the escalating unrest in the former French colony.
 
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters Tuesday that France hoped to accomplish several goals during the mission.
 
"In this operation, what are we aiming for? First, to assist an abominable humanitarian situation, I mean really abominable. Then, restore security in a country that is imploding. Thirdly, allow a political transition, because there are transitional authorities, and fourthly, at some point, allow a kick start of the economy. France is faithful to its mission, which supports Africa and complies with international equality; it will work for peace," said Fabius.
 
Central African Republic

  • Won independence from France in 1960
  • Population: Estimated 5.1 million
  • Religion: Mix of Christian, Muslim, indigenous beliefs
  • Languages: French, Sangho
  • Economy largely based on agriculture, mining, logging
  • GDP, per capita income among lowest in world
The additional troops would be deployed for about six months. France currently has about 400 soldiers based in the C.A.R.'s capital, Bangui.
 
Meanwhile, the regional group ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) plans to transition its mission in C.A.R. to an African Union-led mission of about 3,600 troops known as MISCA next month.
 
In mid-December, the African Union will take over the responsibilities of protecting civilians and restoring the central government's authority. 
 
The situation in the Central African Republic has been chaotic since March, when rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize. The transitional government has not been able to control the former rebels or keep Muslim and Christian groups from fighting each other.
 
Human rights and relief organizations have been expressing growing concern about the unrest.
 
In a Tuesday statement, Doctors Without Borders said the C.A.R.'s "massive humanitarian crisis" had grown more severe as a result of fighting and threats against civilians.
 
Situation in the Central African Republic

  • Seleka rebel alliance toppled President Francois Bozize in March
  • New government cannot control rebel soldiers or country
  • Aid groups, U.N. report widespread looting, rapes, lawlessness
  • Worries over terrorist infiltration, Christian-Muslim fighting
  • U.N. chief Ban warns CAR lacks national authority
  • France, African Union to send extra troops
In an interview with VOA, Amnesty International government relations managing director Adotei Akwei said violence has prompted thousands of people to flee from their homes.
 
"You have attacks against civilians. You have the gender-based violence against women, the recruitment of child soldiers and you also have the displacement of well over 400,000 people," said Akwei.
 
The Central African Republic has endured a long series of coups and rebellions since gaining independence from France in 1960.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid