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.
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

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs