News / Africa

Seven Dead in CAR Killings

Rwandan African Union peacekeepers remove the lucky charms from a suspected Anti-Balaka Christian man who was found with a rifle and a grenade following looting in the Muslim market of the PK13 district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 22, 2014.
Rwandan African Union peacekeepers remove the lucky charms from a suspected Anti-Balaka Christian man who was found with a rifle and a grenade following looting in the Muslim market of the PK13 district of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 22, 2014.
Reuters
Seven people died in inter-religious attacks and reprisal killings in Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Wednesday, a human rights campaigner said, underlining the challenge the new interim president faces in restoring peace.
 
The local Red Cross said it also found another 11 corpses, most burnt beyond recognition.
 
Close to one million people, or a quarter of the population, have been displaced in the former French colony by clashes that began when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in a coup in March.
 
Christian self-defense groups known as “anti-balaka” (anti-machete) have since taken up arms against them, and the United Nations estimates that tit-for-tat violence has claimed more than 2,000 lives.
 
Wednesday's violence erupted after Seleka fighters left a military base looking for food and shot and killed two Christians, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
 
In reprisal, “the youth from the neighborhood went to the prison and took out five Seleka detainees and killed them,” Peter Bouckaert, an HRW researcher in Bangui, told Reuters.
 
The other 11 bodies were found behind a military camp in another part of the city.
 
Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross Society, said nine of the bodies collected in the mostly Muslim northern neighborhood of PK11 had been set on fire.
 
“They were not buried, they were dumped on the ground,” he told Reuters by telephone.
 
He added that the Red Cross had collected 87 bodies in the past five days across the country. The figure did not include the seven people killed on Wednesday.
 
Out of control
 
The arrival of a 1,600-strong French military mission and another 5,000 African Union peacekeepers has so far failed to stop the violence in Central African Republic.
 
A source with the French force said on Wednesday its soldiers were involved in overnight clashes after coming under attack from unidentified gunmen.
 
This week the European Union said it would send 500 soldiers to support international troops already on the ground. And the United States said on Wednesday it was giving an additional $30 million to help ease the country's crippling humanitarian crisis.
 
Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.
x
Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.
Catherine Samba-Panza reacts after she was elected as Central African Republic's interim president in Bangui, Jan. 20, 2014.
Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza, the mayor of Bangui, was appointed as leader on Monday and is due to formally take office on Thursday.
 
She replaced former interim President Michel Djotodia, a former Seleka leader who stepped down on Jan. 10 amid intense international pressure. Samba-Panza has pledged to meet with armed groups in an effort to restore order.
 
However, ending the cycle of violence will not be easy.
 
HRW researcher Bouckaert witnessed hundreds of Christians attack and embark on a looting spree in the mainly Muslim PK13 neighborhood on Wednesday. Rwandan peacekeepers, newly arrived in the country, were forced to intervene to protect around 30 Muslim civilians surrounded by the mob until they were evacuated by French soldiers.
 
Elsewhere, a Reuters witness said that a crowd of angry Christian residents armed with machetes and wooden weapons gathered in the neighborhood of Ngaragba, near the French embassy, to protest against ongoing attacks by Seleka.
 
The protesters burned tires as French troops tried to contain them.
 
“Last night and even this morning they came to attack us. We don't know where we will live next,” said former Corporal Bernard Desire Mariano, referring to Seleka attacks.
 
Aid workers said they could wind up struggling to feed Bangui's displaced population, including around 100,000 seeking shelter at the airport, because food supplies had been disrupted due to a strike by U.N. truck drivers.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid