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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid