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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid