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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid