News / Africa

Humanitarian Groups Warn of Unprecedented Violence in CAR

x
Humanitarian Groups Warn of Unprecedented Violence in CARi
X
November 28, 2013 6:54 PM
Humanitarian groups say the situation in the Central African Republic is worsening daily, with the violence in some areas reaching unprecedented levels. France says it is sending additional troops to help restore order in the country. Zlatica Hoke reports that civilians are the main victims of the fighting between the largely Muslim former rebels and militia groups set up to protect Christian communities.
Zlatica Hoke
Humanitarian groups say the situation in the Central African Republic is worsening daily, with the violence in some areas reaching unprecedented levels.  France says it is sending additional troops to help restore order in the country.  The main victims of the fighting between the largely Muslim former rebels and militia groups set up to protect Christian communities.

The northern town of Bouca is deserted following an attack last month by an alliance of rebel forces called Seleka.  An estimated 400,000 people in the Central African Republic have been displaced by violence.  Sylvain Groulx of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says its workers cannot reach all the people who fled their homes and are now living in dire conditions.

"These people flee to their fields which are in a radius of their villages from one to thirty kilometers, so it's a very difficult situation for them," he said. "They are living out there without their houses, so they are not covered, they are not protected from he rain, from the mosquitoes, they don't have access to safe-drinking water or their normal food support.  It's extremely difficult and we have a problem, as we cannot have a direct access to this population and therefore we don't know exactly what is happening to them, how are they dying out there."

Christian Mukosa, a researcher for Amnesty International, says the situation is even worse for those not lucky enough to escape their attackers.   

"Women are raped, children are killed, children are recruited as soldiers, but also we are seeing killings of - a lot, a lot of killings of the populations not only in the remote areas, but also in the capital Bangui.  And the situation is really of great concern because the current authorities don't have the control of the country," he said.

Mukosa has warned that violence could spill over into neighboring countries and is urging the international community to act before it is too late.  

France, which currently has 400 soldiers stationed in the CAR, said Tuesday it would send about 1,000 additional troops to its former colony to help restore order after the United Nations warned that the country was descending into "complete chaos." 

A resident of the capital Bangui says people there want more French troops.

"If the West says we are in  a pre-genocidal situation, according to me, it has already happened, and it is very important that France helps us out of this situation," he said.  "Given that the former rebels are not controlled, I know that if the French arrive, the rebels will see that they have a superior force and then we can have peace and people can move freely."

France is proposing a U.N. resolution that would strengthen an African stabilization force of 2,500 troops which is already in the CAR but has been hampered by a lack of funding.  That force should increase to about 3,600 when it is taken over by the African Union in December.

The Central African Republic has been dogged by instability since gaining independence from France more than 50 years ago.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
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 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.
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 A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid