News / Africa

    Thousands Flee Lawless Central African Republic

    Armed fighters from the Seleka rebel alliance patrol the streets in pickup trucks to stop looting in Bangui, March 2013.
    Armed fighters from the Seleka rebel alliance patrol the streets in pickup trucks to stop looting in Bangui, March 2013.
    Lisa Schlein
    The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates 206,000 people now are displaced inside the Central African Republic (CAR), while another 63,000 CAR nationals are refugees in four neighboring countries. This includes more than 4,000 refugees who have fled to southern Chad since mid-July. 
     
    UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said his agency is very concerned about the insecurity in the CAR.
     
    "We have reports on a routine basis of human rights violations of a very serious nature. Reports of rapes, of shootings and other incidents," he said. "The nighttime situation in Bangui itself is one in which people in some cases are telling us they simply are not sleeping at night. They prefer to keep vigilance and on watch and trying to cope by sleeping during the day. So it remains an extremely worrisome situation and CAR retains its reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous countries."
     
    According to UNHCR, two local U.N. staff were attacked and seriously wounded in the capital, Bangui, in the past few days, and the husband of one aid worker was killed.
     
    In rural areas, agency officials said civilians are reportedly organizing vigilante groups to protect themselves from violence by Seleka rebels.
     
    The rebels seized Bangui in March, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee the country. The transitional government has so far been unable to restore law and order, and the situation throughout the country remains largely chaotic and violent.
     
    The UNHCR said humanitarian workers are having difficulty accessing many parts of the country, though it reports that its aid workers have improved access to three refugee camps in central and southern CAR, where more than 11,000 mainly Congolese and Sudanese refugees are living.
     
    Although many areas remain too dangerous to enter, the U.N. Children’s Fund reports emergency teams have been working for the past few weeks to restart health services in two districts hard hit by the ongoing crisis.
     
    UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado said this is the first time since fighting between the government and rebels erupted in December that U.N. aid workers have been present for an extended period in the conflict-ravaged interior of the country.
     
    "Through emergency mobile teams, and elsewhere across the country, UNICEF is working with national authorities and partners to restart or rehabilitate basic services wherever security permits," she said. "Late last month we brought in over 50 metric tons of humanitarian supplies. A vaccination campaign that is being rolled out as access opens up has reached almost 200,000 children since May with measles and polio immunization, as well as Vitamin A and de-worming medication."
     
    UNICEF research indicates that CAR has been one of the toughest places for a child to survive, even before the military takeover. UNICEF said conditions for children, if anything, are now worse.
     
    The United Nations is appealing to international donors to support what it calls a forgotten crisis. It says the response to its appeal for $495 million to carry out humanitarian operations this year has been "terrible."
     
    It says only 32 percent of the requested amount, or $62 million, has been received.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora