News / Africa

Rescue Flights From Bangui May Be Put On Hold

A crowd runs for cover as African Union (AU) peacekeeping soldiers fire warning shots to disperse a crowd near the district of Miskine in Bangui, Feb. 7, 2014.
A crowd runs for cover as African Union (AU) peacekeeping soldiers fire warning shots to disperse a crowd near the district of Miskine in Bangui, Feb. 7, 2014.
Nick Long
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says it may have to discontinue rescue flights for people at risk of violence in the Central African Republic unless more funding arrives quickly.  
 
The IOM is the main international organization helping to evacuate non - C.A.R. citizens from Bangui. Since early January it has chartered 20 flights from the capital, enabling nearly 5,000 third-country nationals to leave.

Most of these people were Muslims, from Chad, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Sudan and Senegal.  Since last year, when the largely Muslim rebel group Seleka seized power in Bangui, sectarian violence has killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Muslims are the minority in the C.A.R.  They have been increasingly vulnerable, and as many Chadians and Sudanese were believed involved in the Seleka, third-country nationals are particularly at risk.

The IOM has appealed for $17.5 million for the C.A.R. but has only received $2.5 million.

IOM Director-General William Swing used to be United States ambassador to the C.A.R., and says he barely recognized Bangui when he flew back here three days ago. The city's physical and social fabric has deteriorated badly.

Swing says more than half the money his organization has spent on the C.A.R., between $5-$6 million,  has come from its own emergency fund.

"Now that money has been drawn down to the last couple of million and we’re guarding that money fairly prudently now to see if more comes in from donors. A lot now depends on more funding coming. In fact we will probably have to slow down or even cease for a couple of days early next week," said Swing.

IOM has identified a further 10,000 third-country nationals in Bangui who want to be evacuated, and more are arriving from the interior of the country. The cost of evacuation is about $1,000 per person, and IOM is also funding secure waiting sites for people at risk.

Swing says donor funding for evacuations from this crisis has been nothing like the response to previous needs.

"In March 2011 when the Libyan crisis broke, working with our traditional partner UNHCR, together we were able to evacuate 229,000 migrant workers from 54 countries. We did that for about $125 million but we got a lot of in-kind support from the UK, France and the US, in planes and pilots," he said.

Swing praised the international peacekeeping forces in Bangui for their success in stabilizing the city. The UN reports much less violence in Bangui in the past week than in previous weeks as African Union forces have deployed more widely.

Massacres and ethnic cleansing have continued in the interior of the country, however.

Many of those most at risk are Central African citizens; IOM does not have a mandate to evacuate them but is trying to assist them.

An IOM researcher in Bangui, Francois Goemans, told VOA the organization is trying to discover where Muslim ethnic Peul communities are trying to take refuge.

The Peul with their large herds of cattle have been coming under attack. As most of the Peul in the C.A.R. are Central African, evacuation, even if were possible, is not the ideal solution.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid