News / Africa

Hundreds of Thousands of Children Affected by CAR Conflict

Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
x
Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— About 600,000 children are affected by the conflict in the Central African Republic, according to the U.N. Children's Fund. UNICEF says humanitarian agencies are unable to deliver aid to many of the rebel-controlled areas.  

The U.N. Children’s Fund reports many communities in most of the rebel-controlled areas of the Central African Republic have lacked basic services during the past three months.  It says the situation has become worse since Sunday, when rebels seized control of the capital, Bangui.

UNICEF says it now is working with a slimmed down operation. Because of the security risks, it says most of its 30 international staff has relocated to Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. This leaves four international and 65 local aid workers remaining in the country.

UNICEF spokeswoman, Marixie Mercado, said hundreds of thousands of children are extremely vulnerable. They are receiving little assistance because humanitarian organizations have no access to them. She said a UNICEF mission to three rebel-controlled areas earlier this month found shortages in life-saving medicines.

“Health activities have been seriously disrupted as most doctors have left. Many schools are closed, occupied by armed groups, or without teachers, denying 166,000 children often access to an education. We estimate that 13,500 children will suffer from life-threatening malnutrition this year and many nutrition centers are closed and looted,” said Mercado.

Chaos reigns

Since the Seleka coalition - a loose alliance of three rebel movements - captured Bamako, the International Committee of the Red Cross reports widespread looting. It says the hospitals are full of injured people, and there are frequent electricity cuts and no water in the city.  

Members of the U.N. Security Council have strongly condemned the recent attacks and seizure of power, which caused President Francois Bozize to flee to neighboring Cameroon. The Security Council also condemned the deaths and injuries to South African peacekeeping soldiers.

UNICEF’s Mercado said in this chaotic setting, children are at major risk of being recruited into armed groups and of being victimized by gender-based violence.

“Most vulnerable are children who have lost their homes, have been separated from their families, or were formerly associated with armed groups. Even before the current crisis, UNICEF estimated that some 2,500 children, both girls and boys, were associated with armed groups in the Central African Republic. And, since the outbreak of this conflict, UNICEF has received credible reports that both rebel groups and pro-government militias have recruited children,” said Mercado.

Before the outset of this crisis, the United Nations appealed for $129 million to provide emergency aid this year to the Central African Republic. Only one percent of this money has been received.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid