News / Africa

HRW: Christian Militias in CAR Attacked with 'Shocking Brutality'

Two Million in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in CARi
X
December 19, 2013 6:58 AM
The United Nations says an estimated two million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Central African Republic ((CAR)), where political instability led to deadly clashes that forced thousands of people to flee from their homes.
Watch related video from VOA
VOA News
Human Rights Watch reported that Christian militia fighters in the Central African Republic have committed atrocities against Muslims in a cycle of violence that "threatens to spin out of control."

The group issued a new report Thursday highlighting what it says are abuses by the militias, known as anti-balaka, in the past few months in the country's Ouham province.

It says residents described attacks involving "shocking brutality," including fighters slitting the throats of women and children.

The Central African Republic descended into chaos in March after mostly Muslim rebels, known as Seleka, overthrew president Francois Bozize. Months of looting and killing have brought retaliation by Bozize allies and the Christian militias.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, said the "potential for further mass violence is shockingly high."

Relief organizations say recent fighting in the capital, Bangui, and elsewhere, has left more than 600 people dead.

The report calls on the C.A.R.'s transitional government to publicly order security forces to prohibit attacks on civilians and to cooperate with the French and African Union troops who are working to restore order.

It also urges both the Muslim and Christian fighters to stop attacking civilians and turn in their weapons.

Human Rights Watch wants the United Nations Security Council to establish a peacekeeping mission in the C.A.R.

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution earlier this month that included a call for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to recommend within three months whether to form a peacekeeping force, which he has said could involve up to 9,000 troops.

The U.N. humanitarian office said Wednesday that an estimated two million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, with one million people lacking enough food.

Earlier this week, the U.N. refugee agency said it had deployed additional emergency teams to the C.A.R. The agency said violence in Bangui had forced more than 200,000 people to flee from their homes during the past two weeks.

In a VOA interview, United States special envoy David Brown said the U.S. has provided the C.A.R. with a considerable amount of humanitarian assistance, much of it food aid.

"In 2013, that aid has exceeded to $25 million. In addition, there was also an announcement of $6.2 million in refugee assistance in September and we expect in 2014 there will be a very considerable increase in this humanitarian assistance," said Brown.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs