News / Africa

French Troops Kill Gunmen in CAR Clashes

French soldiers of the newly deployed EUFOR-RCA European Union military operation in the Central African Republic guard the entrance of the airport in the capital Bangui, May 4, 2014.
French soldiers of the newly deployed EUFOR-RCA European Union military operation in the Central African Republic guard the entrance of the airport in the capital Bangui, May 4, 2014.
Reuters
— French peacekeepers killed several militants during a three-hour battle on Monday after coming under attack from some 40 heavily armed unidentified gunmen in the northwest of Central African Republic, a French army official said on Tuesday.

Thousands of French and African troops have failed to stop the waves of intercommunal violence that erupted after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013 in the majority Christian former French colony.

"Elements of the Sangaris [French] force were attacked by a group of 40 heavily armed individuals," army spokesman Gilles Jaron said in Paris. "The clashes lasted three hours and some of them were destroyed - killed or injured. The others escaped."

Jaron, who declined to say how many were killed, said the troops had been tipped off that gunmen were heading to Boguila - about 450 km (280 miles) north of the capital Bangui - and had moved to protect the town. No French soldiers were injured.

"The clash was significant. The armed group was extremely aggressive and was looking to take the French position. We called in two fighter jets for support," he said.

Anti-tank guns and mortars were also used, he said.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Monday it had suspended all but emergency care in C.A.R. to show its "dismay" at the government's failure to condemn the killing of 16 people at its clinic in Boguila ten days ago.

"It could be the same armed group that committed those acts," Jaron said.

Seleka leaders stepped down in January under intense international pressure, but the peacekeepers and a weak interim government have failed to stamp their authority on the country, which has seen little but political instability and conflict since independence from France in 1960.

Seleka's 10 months in power was marked by killings and other rights abuses, prompting the creation of mainly Christian "anti-balaka" self-defence militia. About a million people have fled their homes and, according to human rights officials, parts
of the country have seen "religious cleansing".

Underscoring the depth of the crisis, peacekeepers escorted about 1,300 Muslims out of Bangui at the end of April, triggering looting and removing one of the last Muslim groups from the capital, deepening Muslim-Christian divisions.

The United Nations has approved a 12,000-strong peacekeeper mission to begin in September, although bringing it to full force is likely to take several months.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
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 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 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 Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
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.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid