News / Africa

    UN Investigators: Chadian Soldiers Fired on Civilians in CAR

    FILE - Chadian troops escort Muslim residents from Bangui and Mbaiki, Feb. 7, 2014.
    FILE - Chadian troops escort Muslim residents from Bangui and Mbaiki, Feb. 7, 2014.
    Lisa Schlein
    An investigation by U.N. human rights monitors has found that on March 29, Chadian soldiers fired on civilians in the Central African Republic's capital, killing and wounding dozens.  The investigators say the soldiers were likely on a mission to evacuate Muslims from a volatile area.  

    Information gathered by the U.N. investigation team shows soldiers from the Chadian national army entered the C.A.R. capital, Bangui, in several pick-up vehicles on March 29.  The investigators say the soldiers went to the neighborhood known as PK12, one of two main districts where thousands of Muslims are virtually trapped.

    U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville says several sources have told the investigating team the Chadian force had entered Bangui to extract remaining Chadians and other Muslim inhabitants.  He says the soldiers apparently were trying to save these people from attacks by Christian anti-balaka militia.

    “As soon as the convoy of the Chadian National Army reached the PK12 market area around 3:00 p.m., it allegedly opened fire on the population without any provocation.  As people fled in all directions in panic, the soldiers continued to fire indiscriminately.  At the time of the shooting, the market was full of many people, including many young girls and women buying and selling produce," said Colville.

    The human rights team says the Chadian force’s action appears to have been totally disproportionate as they were shooting in a crowded market full of unarmed civilians.

    Preliminary findings put the number of those killed at around 30, with more than 300 seriously wounded, including children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and elderly people.  The investigators concluded these people were an easy mark as they were less able to run for their lives.

    Most of the wounded and some of the dead were taken to two medical centers in Bangui.  Colville says the investigators interviewed survivors there and also spoke to people in the neighborhood where the shootings took place.

    He says in a VOA interview that the Chadian soldiers were not part of MISCA, the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Central African Republic.  He says they were part of Chad’s regular national army.

    “There have been Chadian soldiers earlier as well as now operating inside C.A.R.  In many cases, they have saved lives.  They have evacuated both people of Chadian nationality and also other Muslims out to Chad.  I think we should note that in many cases they would have saved lives by doing that," said Colville.

    Colville notes MISCA is composed of soldiers from several African nationalities, including Chadians, Congolese, Rwandans and Burundians.  He says the shooting spree in the market was stopped when Congolese MISCA forces arrived and intervened.

    Chad has announced it plans to withdraw around 850 of its troops from MISCA, citing an allegedly malicious campaign targeting its soldiers.  Chad’s withdrawal is seen as a major blow to U.N. efforts to deploy a force of 10,000 soldiers in the C.A.R. to end sectarian violence in the country.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 04, 2014 6:01 PM
    Given that you mention the religeous affiliation of victimes when they are Muslim; one can only speculate that given that the religious affiliation of the market victims was not mentioned, can we speculate that they were of the Christian religion? While those trapped was reported as Muslims; and the Chadian army's religeous affiliation is Muslim? Much the same as the problem the UN HR org has, it rarely if ever mentions the victimization of Christians in many of the major ongoing conflicts around the World, most of them in the Islamist regions of conflict.
    It would be much better, that religeous affiliations were never reported, all victims are victims, or they allways be reported without exceptions.

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora