News / Africa

South Africa Sends 400 Troops to Central African Republic

The commander of regional African force Jean-Felix Akaga reviews troops, on January 2, 2013 in Bangui.The commander of regional African force Jean-Felix Akaga reviews troops, on January 2, 2013 in Bangui.
x
The commander of regional African force Jean-Felix Akaga reviews troops, on January 2, 2013 in Bangui.
The commander of regional African force Jean-Felix Akaga reviews troops, on January 2, 2013 in Bangui.
Anita Powell
South Africa has sent 400 troops to the Central African Republic, where rebels are threatening to advance on the capital. The South African foreign ministry says the deployment shows Africa can handle its own problems, without intervention from outside the continent.

The 400 South African troops were sent to the Central African Republic last week, the presidency said late Sunday.  The South African statement said the troops are to help government soldiers fend off a rebel advance that has pushed to less than 200 kilometers from Bangui, the capital.

This latest rebellion is one of many that have rocked the desperately poor, though mineral-rich, Central African Republic since it gained independence from France in 1960.  The current president came to power through a 2003 coup, though he was later elected to the position.

The presidency statement said South African troops will remain through 2018 to help build the CAR army and assist with the disarmament, demobilization and re-integration of rebel fighters.

South Africa is one of several countries that have sent troops in an attempt to defend the CAR government from a rebel coalition called Seleka, which has seized about one-third of the country.

One of Seleka’s complaints is the government has failed to follow through on its promises, including a vow to help disarm and reintegrate rebels into society.  But some of the rebels are also demanding the president step down, which the government says is not an option.

The rebels have promised to attend peace talks scheduled for later this week in Gabon.  But analysts have questioned whether the rebels are a united force and will follow through.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj says South Africa is committed to bringing about stability and peace on the continent.  South Africa Foreign Ministry Spokesman Clayson Monyela says the move also shows Africa is capable of solving its own problems.

“Wherever a conflict flares up, South Africa always intervenes, always within the context of the African Union or in consultation with the African Union.  But we do always offer help and assistance and intervention in creating peace and trying to resolve whatever crisis could be happening in any part of the continent," Monyela said. "And it is all within the context of finding African solutions to African problems.  And it also demonstrates tangibly that Africans are capable of resolving their own problems without foreign intervention.  Obviously we welcome the cooperation of international partners, but Africans are quite capable of resolving problems on the continent.”

As the continent’s economic powerhouse, South Africa is active in U.N. and AU peacekeeping missions around the continent, Monyela said.

South African President Jacob Zuma has long lobbied for an African nation to hold a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, and participating in peacekeeping missions is seen as strengthening that campaign.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid