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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More