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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid