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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora