News / Africa

UN Chief Warns Against Aiding Central African Republic Militias

FILE - Chadian troops, part of an African Union peacekeeping force, drive down a road in Bangui, Central African Republic.
FILE - Chadian troops, part of an African Union peacekeeping force, drive down a road in Bangui, Central African Republic.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Monday against any support or facilitation of violence by armed groups in Central African Republic after Chadian troops were accused of opening fire on civilians and killing at least 10 people at the weekend.
The shooting on Saturday was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving Chadian troops, who Central African Republic's anti-balaka Christian militia accuse of siding with Muslims and Seleka rebels and preying upon the local Christians.
The mainly Muslim Seleka seized power a year ago, perpetrating abuses on the majority Christian population that triggered waves of revenge attacks, leading to thousands of deaths and displacing hundreds of thousands.
“The secretary-general reminds all those who are involved in spreading the violence, including those directly or indirectly supporting or otherwise facilitating the actions of armed groups, that they will be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice,” Ban's press office said in a statement.
Ban also urged the quick establishment of a list of individuals to be sanctioned by the United Nations for undermining peace, stability and security in Central African Republic.
“The secretary-general is concerned by the latest upsurge in violence in the Central African Republic ... This further deterioration of the security situation in the country has resulted in additional fatalities, a high number of injured, and increased hardship for the population,” Ban's statement said.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Central Africa Republic since the conflict began, Human Rights Watch has said, while top U.N. officials have warned that the violence in the large, sparsely-populated country of 4.5 million people is in danger of spiraling into a genocide.

UN peacekeepers
Under international pressure, the Seleka rebels gave way in January to an interim civilian government. But the government - backed by 2,000 French and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers - has been unable to halt attacks by the anti-balaka militias on Muslims, thousands of whom have fled to neighboring countries or sought shelter in camps.
The European Union has agreed to send up to 1,000 troops to help the African and French forces. The goal of the EU force will be to provide security in the capital Bangui and at the airport, where around 70,000 people who have fled the violence are living in dire conditions.
The United Nations estimates some 650,000 people have been displaced within Central African Republic, while nearly 300,000 have fled to neighboring states. U.N. agencies have reported a sharp rise in rape and sexual violence in the camps.
The U.N. Security Council began negotiations on Monday on a resolution to approve the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping force in Central African Republic, which could assume authority from the African Union on September 15, said Luxembourg's Ambassador to the U.N., Sylvie Lucas, who is president of the council for March.
Ban proposed to the 15-member council earlier this month that a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force would be needed for Central African Republic with a robust mandate and an initial focus on protecting civilians.
“There is now, I think, a large understanding in the council and large consensus for having such a peacekeeping operation deployed as quickly as possible,” Lucas told reporters. “Everybody agrees the situation is dire.”

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

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

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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs