News / Africa

Regional Bloc to Discuss CAR Crisis

Chadian soldier from African Union peacekeeping mission to Central African Republic on guard in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
Chadian soldier from African Union peacekeeping mission to Central African Republic on guard in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
VOA News
African leaders will hold a summit Thursday to discuss the Central African Republic, where fighting since December has left more than 1,000 people dead.
 
The Economic Community of Central African States is convening the meeting in neighboring Chad.
 
CAR information minister Adrien Poussou says President Michel Djotodia requested the meeting to discuss transforming the African intervention force in CAR into a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia during a conference in Bangui, Dec. 8, 2013.FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia during a conference in Bangui, Dec. 8, 2013.
x
FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia during a conference in Bangui, Dec. 8, 2013.
FILE - Central African Republic's President Michel Djotodia during a conference in Bangui, Dec. 8, 2013.
He says the interim leader will also update the regional bloc on security in the capital, Bangui, and that reports by the French foreign ministry that indicate participants will discuss whether Djotodia should remain in power are false.
 
Reporter Nick Long, who is in CAR, told VOA the regional bloc may use the meeting to review Djotodia's performance.

"The regional heads of state may be quite critical of the way that Michel Djotodia and his colleagues in government have handled affairs since coming to power," Long said. "Many political actors, including senior members of the Seleka coalition which brought Djotodia to power, have in the past few months urged him to discipline so-called 'uncontrolled elements' in the Seleka forces, which are accused by human rights observers of committing serious abuses."
 
Djotodia took power after mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize last March. Since then, the CAR has descended into widespread violence, much of it between the ex-Seleka rebels and Christian militias known as anti-balaka.
 
Violence in Bangui has hampered aid workers' efforts to help tens of thousands of displaced civilians at camps around the airport.
 
Long says one relief group started a measles vaccination campaign at the camps on Wednesday after violence delayed the group's initial efforts.
 
"Doctors Without Borders tried to start that vaccinating children at that camp last week but stopped the program because of violence, at the time," he said. "Their spokesman said there were stray bullets flying through that clinic and several children were killed in the camp at that time."
 
Ted Chaiban, emergency programs director for the United Nations Children's Fund, says the unrest is having an especially hard impact on children.

Story continues below photo gallery:
  • A man is ejected from an aid distribution point after he entered without the ticket that gives access to food and supplies at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • People wait to receive food and supplies from an aid distribution point set up inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • A man carries away food supplies from an aid distribution point set up inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Newly-cleared plots of land are marked for settlement inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Displaced people clear scrub brush for a new settlement area, inside a makeshift camp housing an estimated 100,000 displaced people, at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.

"Children have seen unspeakable violence in the CAR," he said. "There are a million people displaced in the Central African Republic, 500,000 of them children."
 
UNICEF and its partners say they have verified the killings of at least 16 children in Bangui since early December, including two who were beheaded.
 
"We've seen torture; we've seen attacks against children," said Chaiban. "They are recruited — we estimate between 3,500 and 6,000 children who are with different armed forces — but also they are exposed to disease, they are out of school, and it's really a very difficult place to be a child right now."
 
Chaiban says the U.N. agency needs about $64 million to provide humanitarian assistance in CAR this year, but so far has received only one-third of those funds.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid