News / Africa

UN Agencies See Security Deterioration in CAR

People fleeing ongoing violence gather near a French armored personnel carrier as they seek security at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Aug. 29, 2013.
People fleeing ongoing violence gather near a French armored personnel carrier as they seek security at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Aug. 29, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— UN aid agencies report an alarming deterioration in the security situation in the Central African Republic. The agencies reports thousands of people are newly displaced as a result of the recent increase in violence in the capital, Bangui, and elsewhere in the country.

The U.N. Refugee Agency calls the Central African Republic a very frightening place. It said CAR is a world humanitarian crisis that is being vastly overshadowed by what is happening in Syria and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the last 10 days, the UNHCR reports a great many people have been fleeing fighting in at least two main areas of the capital, Bangui. On Thursday, it said between 5,000 and 6,000 people, including many women and children, sought refuge at Bangui International airport, blocking air traffic and forcing planes to be rerouted to Douala, Cameroon.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says this chaotic situation seems now to have calmed down and tensions are easing.

“The latest that we are hearing is that people are leaving the airport. There are smaller numbers there. There does seem to have been some damage at the airport. Broken lights, for example, for nighttime landing we understand," he said. "But, the situation does seem to be improving as of today. But, of course, we are going to have to watch this closely. There has been so much volatility in Bangui and other parts of the country that it is really hard to predict whether this is moving in a safer direction or worse one.”

The UNHCR said it is receiving alarming reports of widespread looting in Bangui and attacks against civilians. It says people in Bangui are victims of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, extortion, and physical violence. So far, 10 people reportedly have been killed.

Edwards said the situation outside Bangui is even more dangerous and chaotic. He says civilian vigilante groups are forming and so-called freelance elements of the Seleka rebels are roaming and causing havoc.

The Seleka rebels seized Bangui in March, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee the country. Since then, lawlessness has been growing in this increasingly chaotic country.

The World Food Program reports the deteriorating situation in CAR over the past weeks is increasing risks for aid workers. It says the humanitarian community increasingly is becoming the target of looting and attacks by armed groups.

WFP spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs said crime is a major threat throughout the country and a growing number of robberies are taking place in private residences. But, she said these security incidents, so far, have not affected WFP’s distribution program.

“We still distribute and assist, deliver to our beneficiaries. But, it is becoming a concern. And, also the recent closure on the 21st of August to the Cameroon border with CAR after the killing of a Cameroonian border police officer-the border closure could have an impact on the delivery of WFP commodities from Doula to Bangui as well on the local economy,” says Byrs.

Byrs said WFP has pre-positioned food in CAR, so deliveries will continue.  This month, she says the agency expects to reach 81,000 beneficiaries.  Given the increased needs, WFP is planning to scale up its operation to include an additional 118,500 people in need of assistance.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid