News / Africa

UN Alarmed at Deepening CAR Crisis

Members of the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC) patrol on July 20, 2013 in Bangui.
Members of the Multinational Force of Central Africa (FOMAC) patrol on July 20, 2013 in Bangui.
Margaret Besheer
— A senior U.N. official is warning that the Central African Republic could become a failed state if quick action is not taken.

U.N. Humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the Security Council Wednesday that the political and security situation in the Central African Republic remains “volatile and unstable,” following a March coup that ousted President Francois Bozizé.

“The failure to act now could not only prolong and exacerbate the appalling conditions the people of the Central African Republic have had to endure, but could also see the crisis spread beyond its borders and throughout a region already facing enormous challenges,” she said.

Amos said the new national unity government is fragile and faces considerable challenges from the Séléka rebel coalition that overthrew the government.

She urged the Security Council to support the newly established African Union support mission (AFISM-CAR) which aims to protect civilians, restore security and reinstate the authority of the central government.

Amos said the country’s entire population of 4.6 million people has been affected by the crisis.

“Over the past months, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated dramatically and has shifted from being a long-term crisis of poverty and chronic vulnerability to a complex emergency characterized by violence, acute needs and grave protection issues,” she said.

Since the crisis began, more than 200,000 people have been internally displaced and nearly 60,000 have fled to neighboring countries, while many more continue to hide in the bush. Nearly half-a-million people are food insecure and the risk of disease outbreaks is very high.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović echoed her concerns. He is recently back from a week-long visit to the country and warned of serious human rights violations, including executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, sexual violence, the recruitment of child soldiers and the looting and destruction of schools, hospitals and U.N. premises.

He said some communities have violently opposed Séléka elements trying to arrest alleged suspects and they have been subjected to brutal retaliation by the rebels, including killings and the burning of entire villages.

Šimonović said that while security has improved in the capital, Bangui, the state’s authority is almost non-existent in the rest of the country and has been replaced by unpaid Séléka forces who support themselves through extortion and looting, leading to an environment of rampant fear.

The U.N. officials asked the Security Council to support the regional stabilization mission, the scaling up of humanitarian aid funding, and the need for investigation and prosecution of grave human rights violations to try to avert a deepening crisis.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid