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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid