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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid