News / Africa

US Humanitarian Officials Call for Security in Central African Hotspots

Muslims fleeing sectarian violence are on top of a truck with their belongings -- on the road between Bangui and Sibut -- on a convoy being escorted by French peacekeepers to the south eastern town of Bambari, Central African Republic, April 20, 2014.
Muslims fleeing sectarian violence are on top of a truck with their belongings -- on the road between Bangui and Sibut -- on a convoy being escorted by French peacekeepers to the south eastern town of Bambari, Central African Republic, April 20, 2014.
Anita Powell
Top U.S. diplomats say the conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic will compound widespread food shortages and and long-term instability. Millions of people in the two countries have been forced to flee their homes because of political, ethnic and sectarian conflict.
 
U.S. officials are sounding the alarm over what they call humanitarian “catastrophes” in Central African Republic and South Sudan -- neighboring African nations that in the past year have been ripped apart by political turmoil and then descended into bloody conflicts.
 
The tragedies in the two nations could not be more different. In the Central African Republic, long troubled by civil strife and coups, Muslim rebels toppled the former president last year. In doing so, they unleashed chaos that turned into deadly violence between Muslims and Christians.
 
South Sudan was supposed to be a success story. In 2011, the people of this landlocked nation voted overwhelmingly to separate from Sudan. Leaders of South Sudan -- many of them former rebel fighters -- ushered in their independence with jubilant, and peaceful, celebrations.

Deteriorating situation

It didn’t last long. In December, the president accused his former deputy of a coup attempt. Their political rift spiraled into armed combat and then degenerated into what the United Nations says is ethnic bloodshed.
 
Anne Richard, U.S. assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration, described her recent visit to the C.A.R. and to refugee camps in Chad. “Quite frankly, we were shocked by some of the things that we saw. We talked to one gentleman who showed me photos of the mutilated body of his father.”
 
Her deputy Catherine Wiesner, said the situation in South Sudan is getting worse despite months of intermittent peace talks in Addis Ababa. She said that is why the U.N. Security Council is considering sanctions against some South Sudanese leaders.
 
“We have been inviting and encouraging and, in fact, I would say pressuring, those politicians to come around the table and have that discussion and that’s really been the focus of our diplomatic engagement ever since December," said Wiesner. "I think it’s because we’ve come to the point where we’ve seen the violence continuing, the attacks on civilians continuing, the blockages to humanitarian assistance continuing, that we have considered this additional to increase the pressure.”
 
The U.S. government says it has contributed more than $500 million in aid to the two countries since late last year, but humanitarian officials say that money can’t do much if armed groups don’t allow aid workers to access people in need.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

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

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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