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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid