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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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 Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs