News / Africa

Violence-hit CAR Shortlists 8 for President

French troops secure an area after protesters from an angry mob set fire to the dead body of a Muslim man along a street in Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 19, 2014.
French troops secure an area after protesters from an angry mob set fire to the dead body of a Muslim man along a street in Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 19, 2014.
Reuters
Central African Republic lawmakers shortlisted eight candidates, including two sons of former presidents, on Sunday to become interim leader and pull the country out of months of turmoil and factional killings.
    
The members of a transitional assembly were expected to select one as president on Monday after former leader Michel Djotodia resigned under international pressure over his failure to end the bloodshed.
    
Whoever gets the job will face the challenge of rebuilding one of Africa's most fractured nations - torn apart by a conflict that a senior U.N. official warned last week could slip into genocide.
    
The landlocked former French colony descended into chaos in March after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, marched into the capital, unleashing a wave of killings and looting.
    
That triggered revenge attacks by Christian militia known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete).
    
Seleka and the anti-balaka groups have continued to launch sporadic tit-for-tat killings, despite the presence of 1,600 French troops and nearly 5,000 African Union peacekeepers.
    
Transitional assembly vice president Lea Koyassoum Doumta told journalists the candidates included Bangui mayor Catherine Samba-Panza; DesirDe Kolingba, son of former president Andre Kolingba; and businessman Sylvain Patasse, son of ex-president Ange-Felix Patasse.

Revenge attack

To qualify, the candidates had to show they had no link to Seleka, or the forces behind the "anti-balaka" militia.
    
But many have had first hand experience of the nation's political turmoil, particularly the former presidents' sons.
    
General Andre Kolingba seized power in a 1981 military coup and ruled the country until 1993 when he was defeated by Ange-Felix Patasse in a democratic election. He died in Paris in February 2010.
    
Patasse, ruled the country for two terms but consecutive mutinies within the army led to his ouster by former President Francois Bozize in 2003. He died in Cameroon in April 2011.
    
Central African republic has seen five coups and several rebellions since in won independence in 1960. It remains one of Africa's poorest nations, for all its mineral riches.
    
In the latest sign of violence, two Muslims were killed in a revenge attack in Bangui on Sunday following the suspected kidnapping of a taxi driver by Seleka gunmen, residents said.
    
The remains of the one of the Muslims was dragged through the streets and stoned and stabbed and the second was set on fire while onlookers took pictures of the mob with their mobile phones.
    
"As long as Muslims continue, we will also continue to do so," a man in the crowd who only gave his name as Yacinte, told Reuters.
    
More than a million people have fled the violence and more than 1,000 people were killed last month in the capital alone, according to U.N. figures.
    
European Union foreign ministers are expected to agree on Monday to send up to 1,000 soldiers to help stabilize the country.
    
The country is supposed to hold elections by February 2015, according to the terms of a regionally brokered peace plans that set up the governing National Transitional Council in March last year.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs