News / Africa

Little Aid for Growing Numbers of Displaced in CAR

A French soldier talks to curious children as he mans a roadblock in the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 6, 2014.
A French soldier talks to curious children as he mans a roadblock in the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 6, 2014.
Mariama Diallo
Fighting in the Central African Republic has displaced more than 900,000 people, according to the U.N. refugee agency. VOA reporter says sites where the displaced gather are swelling, and that little or no aid is reaching those driven from their homes.  
The situation in the Central African Republic appears to be growing worse by the day.  Reporter Nick Long, who just arrived in the capital, describes dire conditions at the Bangui airport.

“You can see people in a kind of cage, almost, at one wing of the airport.  Masses of people of people crammed into a small site there.  But other people camped all around the airport, said to be 50,000, perhaps 100,000, just around the airport," said Long.

Long says similar sights can be seen in other parts of the capital.

“Outside the hotel I’ve been staying in, near the Chadian embassy, there are hundreds of people who have taken refuge on the streets, mainly women, children and the elderly.  They are waiting for evacuation from Bangui and some are waiting for evacuation from the country," he said.

The Central African Republic has been in chaos since early December, when Christian militias launched attacks in Bangui, hoping to overthrow Muslim coup leader Michel Djotodia.  The attacks unleashed a wave of sectarian violence.

Some aid agencies say a lack of security on the streets is making it difficult to help those in need of food, water and shelter.  

Long reports that the people he spoke to say they aren't getting any assistance.

“Those people say they haven’t had any aid and they are surviving on the provisions of food they’ve been able to bring with them or they were able to buy from the Muslim shops and there are not many of those.  It’s a very divided society here.  They are there abandoned somewhat by the rest of the society.  But having said that, there are hundreds of thousands of displaced from both Christians and Muslim communities; everyone is suffering from the displacement and the chaos," he said.

Long says that many people have been going to neighboring Chad.  Other countries are also beginning to evacuate their citizens. Nigeria’s defense ministry says it has rescued about 800 Nigerian citizens and another 800 remain at the country’s embassy in Bangui.

The U.N. refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch says the number of displaced people has risen sharply in recent weeks.  

“On December 24th, we had 710,000 displaced in the country. Today that number has [risen] to over 935,000 people who are displaced inside CAR," said Baloch.

French and African peacekeepers in the capital have attempted to disarm militia fighters but have made little headway toward halting the violence.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid