News / Africa

US Calls for Disarmament in CAR

FILE - U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
FILE - U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
Margaret Besheer
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has arrived in Bangui, in the Central African Republic, where she is to meet with government officials and civil society leaders about the fighting that has created a large and growing humanitarian crisis.

Ambassador Power and a small delegation arrived in the capital, Bangui, for a one-day unannounced visit Thursday.

Power told reporters in a conference call during a stop in Abuja, Nigeria, that disarming of groups fomenting violence in the country is critical to its stabilization.

“The violence has been vicious, it has been directed almost entirely at civilians, and it has been increasingly sectarian," she said. "And only with this disarmament do we think that that violence can come to an end.”
 
In March, the country descended into turmoil after mostly Muslim rebels, known as Seleka, overthrew President Francois Bozizé. Months of looting and killing have led to inter-communal fighting, as Bozizé allies and Christian militias, known as anti-balaka, engage in tit-for-tat attacks on the Seleka.
 
This month, the U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of 6,000 African and 1,600 French troops to help quell the violence. Ambassador Power’s visit coincides with the official deployment of the African force, which is known as MISCA. The United States has provided $100 million to help support and equip the mission.
 
If the French and Africans cannot stabilize the situation, the U.N. could deploy a peacekeeping force next year.
 
Ambassador Power won a Pulitzer Prize for her book about genocide, A Problem from Hell, and is a strong voice in the Obama administration for protecting human rights. She expressed concern for the more than 200,000 refugees and half-million internally displaced civilians in the C.A.R. She noted that the United States has given the country more than $23 million this year for humanitarian relief, and that more aid will follow in 2014.
 
Power said the world has been witness to great atrocities before, and has a responsibility to prevent the situation in central Africa from deteriorating further.
 
“Direct comparisons with other past crises are inevitably flawed, but it is worth noting that Somalia taught us what can happen in a failed state, and Rwanda showed us what can occur in a deeply divided one. The people in Central African Republic are in profound danger, and we all have a responsibility which we must meet to help them move away from the abyss,” said Power.
 
A senior administration official traveling with the ambassador said the Obama administration is deeply concerned about the sectarian nature of the violence. The official added that human rights violators must be held accountable.
 
The U.S. administration hopes the security situation will stabilize over the next several weeks so that urgently needed relief can reach civilians in isolated, affected areas of the C.A.R., and further atrocities can be prevented. The official said Washington wants to see security restored and borders managed, preventing extremists from trying to take advantage of the political chaos.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

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