News / Africa

    UN Chief Urges International Support for CAR

    FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
    FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
    Margaret Besheer
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the international community to intensify efforts to help the people of the Central African Republic, where he warned the situation is worsening.   His remarks come as France announced it would temporarily increase its small troop presence in the CAR.

    Inter-communal attacks and reprisals by mostly Muslim Seleka fighters and largely Christian anti-Balaka fighters have killed thousands and left nearly one million people displaced or as refugees in neighboring countries.  

    More than half the CAR's population has been affected by the crisis and are in need of aid.

    The sectarian nature of the violence, in a country that had previously not seen open religious tensions, has been of particular concern.

    On Friday, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon expressed his concern to the Security Council about the cycle of revenge and reprisal attacks.  He said entire Muslim communities are now fleeing for their lives.

    “The dark clouds of mass atrocities and sectarian cleansing loom over the Central African Republic.  Public lynchings, mutilations, and other horrendous acts of violence are spreading mayhem and fear.  All Central Africans have been victims, Muslims and Christians alike," said Ban Ki-moon.

    He said the local Red Cross had reported finding a mass grave in the capital, Bangui.  He noted that public records are being deliberately destroyed and citizens and officials are raising tensions through hate speech.

    The African Union has deployed about 5,000 peacekeepers to the country, assisted by a force of 1,600 from France.  Paris announced Friday it would temporarily increase its force by an additional 400 troops and police.

    The European Union has also pledged to send at least 500 troops to protect civilians in the CAR EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton told reporters after the Council meeting, which she also briefed, that the EU has commitments for closer to 1,000 troops. It was not clear how soon they could start to deploy.

    It is becoming more likely that the United Nations will take over the African-led mission in the coming months, turning it into a full-fledged U.N. peacekeeping force.  That would provide the troops with stable financing and more equipment, among other benefits.

    Ban said he would return to the council on Tuesday with his recommendations for containing and ending the crisis.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora