News / Africa

    Medical Aid Group: Workers Witness CAR Atrocities, Executions

    In this Sept. 16, 2013 photo, a Gabonese soldier from a regional Central African peacekeeping force helps collect the bodies of rebels who were reportedly killed by armed villagers in Njoh, Central African Republic.In this Sept. 16, 2013 photo, a Gabonese soldier from a regional Central African peacekeeping force helps collect the bodies of rebels who were reportedly killed by armed villagers in Njoh, Central African Republic.
    x
    In this Sept. 16, 2013 photo, a Gabonese soldier from a regional Central African peacekeeping force helps collect the bodies of rebels who were reportedly killed by armed villagers in Njoh, Central African Republic.
    In this Sept. 16, 2013 photo, a Gabonese soldier from a regional Central African peacekeeping force helps collect the bodies of rebels who were reportedly killed by armed villagers in Njoh, Central African Republic.
    Gabe Joselow
    Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes because of violence in the Central African Republic, according to the medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders.  Aid workers have also witnessed an execution and other atrocities as security deteriorates.

    Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, reports violence has flared this month in the northwestern CAR, where government forces are battling local armed groups.

    Many civilians have fled towns and villages for the forest, where they live without adequate shelter and with little access to food and water.

    Head of Mission for MSF in the country, Ellen Van Der Velden, says civilians displaced around the town of Bossangoa, north of the capital, also are facing harsh conditions.

    “In Bossangoa there’s a big Catholic mission, the size of say nine football fields, but it houses about 28,000 people -- this is a guestimate," said Velden. "It's difficult to calculate exactly or to count exactly but we believe it’s a number like that -- and you can just imagine how incredibly difficult are the circumstances when you have that many people on a small surface packed together.”

    The fighting has been taking place in areas under the control of government forces, comprised of soldiers who seized power in a March coup as part of the now-disbanded Seleka rebel movement.

    Seleka has been unable to assert control over the country, or even its own fighters, who are blamed for a wave of looting, killing and violent attacks in the country's interior.

    MSF says its workers have witnessed the execution of a health worker and violent attacks on humanitarian staff, though it did not specify where the attacks happened or which groups were responsible.

    Van der Velden says MSF has “good and clear” relations with CAR authorities, but that a lack of control over soldiers remains a concern.

    “In their army or around the army [are] a number of elements that are less easily controlled and that of course is a constant worry, how much control they exert over all the elements that are in their midst," said Velden.

    In a statement Wednesday, MSF said it has heard accounts that recent attacks are “characterized by religious divisions.”

    In September, militia loyal to former president Francois Bozize attacked positions held by the predominantly Muslim Seleka forces in the northwest, and torched homes in Muslim neighborhoods, prompting retaliatory attacks.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.