News / Africa

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Fears Genocide in CAR

US actress and Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Mia Farrow (C, L) takes part in a mass at the Bossangoa cathedral, Nov. 10, 2013.
US actress and Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF Mia Farrow (C, L) takes part in a mass at the Bossangoa cathedral, Nov. 10, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein
— UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow warns the Central African Republic is on the verge of genocide because of growing ethnic and religious tensions between Muslims and Christians.  The actress and human rights activist is calling for urgent international intervention to protect the civilian population and stave off a potential blood bath.

Farrow calls the Central African Republic a failed state.  She said the government is absolutely useless and unable to stem the violence, which is out-of-control.  

Farrow has just returned from a weeklong trip to the CAR, her third visit to this conflict-torn country since 2007.   What she finds most alarming, she said is the growing hostility between Muslims and Christians.  She says these communities, which previously had lived harmoniously, are now separated.

She said they have formed two armed groups, which are attacking each other’s civilian populations along religious and ethnic lines. “There are the seeds, the seeds are present for a genocide.  You have the ethnic components.  You have the armed groups.  You have ongoing atrocities of the worst kind and you have a very, very imperiled civilian population,” she stated. 

Farrow says her assessment of this frightening possibility echoes that of other U.N. officials, notably U.N. humanitarian chief John Ging.

She is calling for a high-level diplomatic intervention to protect the civilian population and aid agencies in the CAR.   She said the U.N. needs a larger force and stronger mandate to try to bring some stability to the country.

UNICEF reports that one-half of the CAR’s 4.6 million people are under the age of 18.  It says some 400,000 people have fled their homes since December of last year, when the Seleka rebels began their rebellion against President Francois Bozize, who they ousted in March.

It says people have fled with little more than the clothes on their backs.  It said families are too afraid to return to their fields and are unable to produce food to feed themselves.  It says seven out of 10 children are still out of school.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Farrow said the worsening situation in the country is taking a particularly heavy toll on women and children.  She said it is past time for the world to pay attention to the dire needs of people in that country. “It has been referred to as a forgotten crisis.  But, I think that is a misnomer because that implies that it was once remembered.  I think it is more appropriate to refer to Central African Republic as an abandoned population because the world has really looked away,” she stated. 

Farrow said she understands the difficulty of getting people to pay attention to the CAR while they are fixated on the horrific events unfolding in the Philippines and Syria.  

And, yet, she said she believes the world has the means and the compassion to come to the aid of the children in the Central African Republic who, after all, are of equal value to children in other countries of crises.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid