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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
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 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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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