News / Africa

Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Further Bloodshed in CAR

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos addresses a news conference on the situation in Central African Republic at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Mar. 7, 2014.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos addresses a news conference on the situation in Central African Republic at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Mar. 7, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos is calling for urgent action to prevent further bloodshed in the Central African Republic.  Amos says the total breakdown of the state is having grave consequences throughout the region. 

U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said during a recent trip to the Central African Republic she was overwhelmed by the level of destruction and climate of fear.  She said the state had no institutions that could deliver basic services, and had no capacity to stop the violence.

“There was palpable fear in the eyes of the people that we met in Bangui and also in Bossangoa and lots of people saying that they wanted to leave the country,” she said. 

The Central African Republic has a population of 4.6 million people .  The United Nations estimates more than half of those people are in need of aid. 

Latest estimates put the number of internally displaced at 650,000.  Nearly 300,000 others have fled to Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo.

Amos warns of a looming food crisis in CAR.  She said millions of people would be at risk of communicable diseases with the upcoming rainy season.  She said this crisis was likely to be even worse than predicted if the United Nations did not receive a substantial chunk of its $550 million appeal.  So far, the U.N. has received only 16 percent.

Amos said the road network in the country was extremely poor.  She said money was needed to position food stocks before the rains came and the roads became impassible.

“Then you have IDP sites, like the site at the airport with 70,000 refugees.  I talked about the possibility of disease outbreaks.  We have not had them so far.  With 70,000 people in an IDP site that just gets overrun with rain.  The shelter is extremely poor.  It will be absolutely terrible and we will see this repeated across the country.  And, I have no doubt, that if we do not get these resources and do more, then people will die,” she said. 

Amos said the lack of security throughout the country was a huge problem for civilians and for humanitarian workers trying to reach them with essential aid. 

Currently, there are 8,000 African Union and French troops on the ground.  The Security Council is debating ramping up this force and turning it into a 10,000 strong peacekeeping unit, with an additional 1,820 police.

Amos said such a force would help stabilize the country and keep people safe.  However, she noted it would take at least six months to achieve.  She said interim measures would have to be taken to ensure protection for the population and humanitarian aid.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Arkansas, North Carolina have approved similar laws that gay-marriage opponents say help maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Honesty
March 15, 2014 4:57 AM
Please tell the world where the UN stood on Gukhuranhundi in Zimbabwe and subsequently and what action was taken by the UN.
It would be most interesting.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More