News / Africa

New CAR President Works to 'Calm Down' Nation

Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president at the national assembly in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.
Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president at the national assembly in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.
VOA News
The new interim president of the Central African Republic tells VOA the most important thing to do to bring peace to her country is to "calm people down."

In the first interview since her election Monday, Catherine Samba-Panza tells VOA's French to Africa that she thinks having a woman leader for the CAR will help "calm down those who have hatred in their hearts."

Samba-Panza is the country's first female president and the mayor of the capital, Bangui. She was chosen Monday by a Transitional National Council to lead the country out of months of chaos and Muslim-Christian violence. The instability has driven more than 900,000 people from their homes.

Samba-Panza says the country is in a very difficult situation: "The population is extremely poor. People also need to feel safe everywhere in CAR"

In another development Monday, the World Food Program said it is running out of food in the country because of continued unrest. It says its trucks are positioned at the CAR border with Cameroon, but it says truck drivers refuse to cross the border because of insecurity.

WFP officials say their cereal stocks are close to being exhausted and they will soon run out of legumes. They say that as a last resort, they are considering airlifting the food to the capital, Bangui.

Also Monday, European Union foreign ministers in Brussels approved a plan to send hundreds of peacekeepers to the CAR The EU operation would be in support of 1,600 French troops and nearly 5,000 African soldiers already in the country.

The United States said it is providing an additional $30 million to address urgent humanitarian needs there.

The CAR's new president replaces former interim leader Michel Djotodia, who resigned under intense international pressure after he failed to stop the fighting.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Samba-Panza on her election. He said the change of leadership in the CAR offers what he called a "critical opportunity to put the transition process back on track."

The CAR, which has a history of unrest, descended into chaos last year after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels toppled President Francois Bozize.

Attacks and looting by the rebels sparked the rise of Christian defense groups and a cycle of killings. The U.N. humanitarian agency says 882 people have been killed in Bangui alone since early December.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cosmas .Z. lasuba from: Juba S Sudan
January 29, 2014 12:49 PM
I prays God for the new president car, may God give her power so that she can able to lead her people in peace. So l would like to advice her that let her unity all the religions so that it can bring peace to the nation.

by: obed from: port Harcourt/ Nigeria
January 21, 2014 2:43 AM
She needs support of all and sundry, this is the time to embrace peace!

by: A AHMED from: Nigeria
January 21, 2014 12:02 AM
I hope that new car president wilkend this massacre and maintain law accross whole cauntry

by: John from: USA
January 20, 2014 10:17 PM
Amazing, a woman president in and African country. Is this a first? For me, that represents real hope for CAR and Africa as a whole. I will send good thoughts your way Ms. Samba Panza, for what they are worth (a lot if the people of your country follows suit). I will also pray that you can recognize and not succumb to the corruption that is seemingly 100% the norm on your continent.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 21, 2014 2:32 AM
John, Cathrine Samba-Panza is the third female president in Africa. The first is an international Nobel Peace Prize winner Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the current president of Liberia while the second one is the head of state of Malawi her name is Joyce Hilda Banda. I strongly believe the more female president we got have in Africa the more hopeful I become and the better place for Americans to do business with Africans.
In addition, I have to agree with you that corruption essentially became part of culture among predominantly powerful male politicians. For example, in war ravaged Somalia, according to UN report, almost 75% of Western cash aid plus 85% of local revenue mysteriously vanished into thin air!. There is no outcry from donor countries and Somali officials continue to behave as if there is nothing serious had happened.
Again I'm very hopeful that more female head of state in Africa will rescue us from this evil corruptions and antiquated tribal/clan based civil wars.

by: Joseph Effiong from: Calabar - niger
January 20, 2014 10:15 PM
May the Lord God bring peace to this nation. All should embrace peace and live in harmony with one another.

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