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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid