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 Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs