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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid