News / Africa

Rights Groups Call for UN Peacekeeping Mission in CAR

Two Million in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in CARi
X
December 19, 2013 6:58 AM
The United Nations says an estimated two million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Central African Republic ((CAR)), where political instability led to deadly clashes that forced thousands of people to flee from their homes.
Two Million in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in CAR
Lisa Bryant
Two leading rights groups are calling on the United Nations to send a peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic to help stop the spiraling sectarian violence. 
 
Reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch follow field visits by both rights groups to the Central African Republic to document some of the sectarian violence first hand. Their findings are brutal and graphic. Amnesty's report focuses on the capital, Bangui. It describes, for example, how Christian anti-balaka militias went door-to-door, killing about 60 Muslim men.
 
Over the past two weeks alone, the United Nations estimates that fighting in C.A.R. has killed roughly 600 people and uprooted 210,000 others. Christian militia groups are staging bloody reprisals against Muslims - after many were themselves terrorized by members of the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition, which staged a coup in March.
 
HRW's report focuses on the C.A.R.'s northwestern Ouham province, and again describes bloody attacks between Christians and Muslims.

  • Michel Djotodia, Central African Republic's president, walks back to the Chadian armored vehicle he arrived in following his meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 19, 2013.
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power answers questions at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 19, 2013. 
  • Internally displaced children escaping the violence pose at Saint Paul's Church, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 17, 2013. 
  • French soldiers carry their weapons as they patrol Boy-Rabe, a northern district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 17, 2013.
  • A severely malnourished child lays by his mother at a pediatric center in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 17, 2013.
  • Internally displaced people escaping violence take shelter at Saint Paul's Church, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 17, 2013.
  • Internally displaced people escaping violence take shelter at Saint Paul's Church, Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 17, 2013. 
  • A uniformed FOMAC peacekeeper chats with local boys while another one dressed in full riot gear sits in the tense combatant neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 16, 2013.
  • People line up in front of a bank in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 16, 2013.
  • A FOMAC peacekeeper dressed in full riot gear sits in the tense combatant neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 16, 2013.

HRW's Emergencies Director, Peter Bouckaert, authored the report, and has visited CAR twice in recent weeks.
 
"We documented many cases in which both Christians and Muslims were targeted because of their religion and their attackers made statements like, 'we will kill all the Muslims in the country.' We've documented where children as young as three years old had their throats cut by the attackers. So we're talking about extreme violence and communal violence. And once that communal violence sets in, it's very difficult to stop," said Bouckaert.
 
Both groups are calling on the United Nations to send in a peacekeeping force to protect civilians. Bouckaert said that while French and African forces in the C.A.R. are making a difference in trying to halt the violence, it is not enough.
 
"We believe that's important, that a United Nations peacekeeping mission is deployed in the Central African Republic because that would also bring the monitoring capacity which is needed to monitor the abuses which are taking place. And also the political dimension; in terms of trying to find a political solution out of this bloodshed and to establish a government which actually has some credibility in the country," said Bouckaert.
 
France is expected to ask for more European support for its mission in the C.A.R. during a European Union summit Thursday and Friday. Bouckaert agrees that French and African forces need more boots on the ground.

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