News / Africa

Hollande: France Will Help Fund CAR Government

French president Francois Hollande, second right, looks at interim Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza, second left, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 28, 2014.
French president Francois Hollande, second right, looks at interim Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza, second left, in Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 28, 2014.
Nick Long
French President Francois Hollande was in the Central African Republic Friday for the second time in just over three months.  He was visiting the French troops stationed in the country, as well as consulting with the new CAR government and with religious leaders.

Since December, when inter-religious violence flared in the CAR, France has had 1,600 troops in the country, who were reinforced with 400 new arrivals this week.  Last week, their mandate was extended by six months.

After visiting the soldiers of the French mission and thanking them for their work, the French president held talks with transitional President Catherine Samba Panza and with Catholic, Protestant and Muslim leaders.

Speaking to media, he compared what he had just seen in Bangui with what he saw during his last visit in December, when two French soldiers had just been killed, tens of thousands of people had fled to a camp at the airport to escape violence, and the rest of the city looked like a ghost town.

He said he has been on the streets of Bangui during the day - not everywhere but where was driven - and he has seen that life is getting back to normal, shops have reopened and commercial activity has restarted although there is a lot still to do.

Hollande attributed this progress to the French and African Union peacekeepers, and to the CAR government, which he said under its new president had restored international confidence.

Setting out the next steps, the French president said French troops would continue restoring order in towns in addition to the capital.

The objective, he says, is to free up main roads and to accompany the government toward areas of the country where certain people might think they are cut off from the rest of the nation.

This was a hint that French troops will deploy eastwards, toward areas currently controlled by the Seleka armed movement, which seized power in Bangui a year ago but has recently retreated from most of the western CAR.

There was still inter-religious violence although less than there was, Hollande said, adding that certain groups must be rendered harmless and there should be no impunity.

Finally Hollande made the major announcement of his visit - France and central African states have agreed to help fund the CAR government, which has virtually no funds at the moment, so that police and gendarmes, teachers and health workers can get back to work.

He thanked the regional heads of state for their understanding and said France would also play its part and everything would be done so that from next week the CAR president would have an administration that can work.  That was our obligation, he emphasized.

Leaving for the airport, Hollande encouraged the new administration to get to work and to break with bad practices of the past, such as corruption.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs