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.
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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs