News / Africa

US Thanks, Supports Peacekeepers in CAR

African Union peacekeepers guard a commercial convoy making its way to the border of Cameroon, near Bangui, Central African Republic, March 8, 2014.
African Union peacekeepers guard a commercial convoy making its way to the border of Cameroon, near Bangui, Central African Republic, March 8, 2014.
Nick Long
The United States has handed over dozens of vehicles to the African Union military force in the Central African Republic, and promised 200 more, as well as more funding for peacekeeping.
 
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power was in Bangui to review plans for converting the current African Union mission here into a U.N. peacekeeping mission. The U.N. Security Council is expected to authorize that move on Thursday.
 
Power attended a ceremony Wednesday at the base of the African Union mission MISCA, where she praised the peacekeepers’ sacrifices.

More than 20 men of the African mission and two men of the French military mission Sangaris have been killed in the line of duty since December.

Power lauds peacekeepers

Power said the situation has not calmed yet, but told the peacekeepers they have prevented a much greater catastrophe from unfolding.
 
"As terrible as the situation remains, it would be far worse if it were not for your efforts to protect civilians, disarm militias and create areas where families can be safe. I commend you on behalf of President Obama and the United States, for your brave service and urge you to persevere," she said.
 
Power said the U.S. also is contributing armored vehicles, in addition to the others. She said U.S. support for the mission, including airlifts and other assistance, totals more than $100 million.
 
The AU mission is still facing the fallout from two incidents late last month in which Burundian and Chadian troops were accused of fatally shooting a number of civilians in Bangui.
 
Chad has since announced the withdrawal of its 850 troops from MISCA in the face of increasing hostility from many Central Africans.

Engaging the international community

Power expressed sympathy for the peacekeepers.

"Even the best and bravest efforts can be misunderstood because they fail to achieve instant miracles. Peacekeepers deserve better," she said. "You may not be greeted by a parade when you return home, but please know that you have the world’s gratitude for your courageous service."
 
The ambassador also told VOA she has been consulting widely on what the international community can do to help Muslim communities in the western C.A.R. which are still under threat -- and whether it should do more to help them relocate to safer areas.
 
"I think part of the challenge is to get a sense of what the individuals in these communities want," Power said. "Often there are spokespersons for whole communities, and I think what the U.N. is trying to do is make sure we go on a case-by-case basis and not have a situation where anybody who wishes to leave somehow feels pressed to stay simply for the sake of showing that there’s still diversity in the Central African Republic."
 
She said once the Security Council votes to authorize a U.N. mission, the military presence should be ramped up to prepare the AU mission for “rehatting” as blue helmets from September 15, as the U.N. secretary-general has requested.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs