News / Africa

UN Seeks Funds for African Force in Central African Republic

French peacekeeping soldiers advance in armored vehicles in Miskine district, a neighborhood that in the past few days experienced violent sectarian clashes, in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 30, 2014.
French peacekeeping soldiers advance in armored vehicles in Miskine district, a neighborhood that in the past few days experienced violent sectarian clashes, in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 30, 2014.
Reuters
The United Nations is asking donors for more money to fund African Union peacekeepers trying end inter-communal violence in the Central African Republic, a U.N. official said on Friday.

Almost a million people, a quarter of the population, have been displaced by fighting since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel group seized power in March in the majority Christian country. At least 2,000 people are estimated to have been killed.

“It is a critical situation, we have seen massive violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law,” U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told Reuters, speaking on the sidelines of an African Union summit.

The United Nations has warned the conflict in the landlocked former French colony risks spiraling into genocide.

Eliasson said the priority was to support the African force, known as MISCA, adding that a trust fund set up to finance it had “only slightly over $5 million”. He said he had no set target for a meeting of donors in Addis Ababa on Saturday.

MISCA has more than 5,000 soldiers in the Central African Republic, where a 1,600-strong French force is also deployed.

The European Union, which has promised to send 500 soldiers, said on Friday it was ready to put 25 million euros ($34 million) into the MISCA fund and provide another 20 million euros for the country's electoral process.

EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs said the extra money would bring total EU commitments to the Central African Republic since the crisis began to about 200 million euros.

'Tough sell'

MISCA aims to raise the number of troops deployed by March to about 6,000, an African official said, the current ceiling for the force, although France has said more are needed.

Eliasson said the number of peacekeepers needed would depend on political progress, helped on this month when a transitional assembly elected interim President Catherine Samba-Panza.

“This situation cannot be solved only by a military or peacekeeping operation,” Eliasson said.

He said fund-raising was hard given a host of demands on donors, including the latest $6 billion U.N. appeal for Syria.

African Union director of peace and security El Ghassim Wane said MISCA had 5,300 troops on the ground and expected 700 from the Democratic Republic of Congo for a total of 6,000. Rwanda, Burundi, Chad, Cameroon and others have already sent troops.

“I can assure you that by the end of the program in March we will have all troops on the ground,” Wane told Reuters.

France has called for a U.N. peacekeeping force. Its U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said transforming the African Union force into a U.N. operation would bring guaranteed funding.

The World Food Program, a U.N. agency which has provided food aid to 220,000 people displaced by the crisis since the start of the year, also appealed for more money on Friday.

“WFP urgently needs $95 million to immediately distribute life-saving food assistance and to pre-position food stocks before the rains start in April and roads become impassable,” it said in a statement.

($1 = 0.7373 euros)

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More