News / Africa

US Urges End to Sectarian Attacks in CAR

A member of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) puts his knife away after taking part in the lynching of a man suspected of being a former Seleka rebel on Feb. 5, 2014, in Bangui.
A member of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) puts his knife away after taking part in the lynching of a man suspected of being a former Seleka rebel on Feb. 5, 2014, in Bangui.
VOA News
The United States is urging people in the Central African Republic to take advantage of international support and their new transitional government to break a cycle of violence that has affected the country for nearly a year.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. is deeply concerned about sectarian attacks against both Muslims and Christians, and that such violence must end.

She said the C.A.R. will not be able to move toward stability and peace unless all groups "look toward the future and break the cycle of violent retribution."

Earlier Wednesday, soldiers were accused of taking part in the killing of a man suspected of belonging to the Seleka rebellion that overthrew president Francois Bozize last March.

Witnesses said soldiers took part in the Wednesday attack on a man suspected of belonging to the Seleka rebellion that overthrew President Francois Bozize last March.

They said soldiers helped beat and stab the man before dragging his body through the streets. Television video showed a man stomping on an almost naked and lifeless body with soldiers nearby.

The incident took place in the capital, Bangui, shortly after interim President Catherine Samba-Panza praised the military for its efforts to regroup and reform after last year's coup.

Human Rights Watch emergencies director Peter Bouckaert was attending the ceremony, and saw the attack.

"They were, I believe, afraid of the massive mob of thousands of uniformed soldiers who were at the scene and this absolute scene of carnage in front of their eyes," he said in a VOA interview, adding that African peacekeepers were nearby but did not initially intervene.

The incident is an indication of the tensions between the C.A.R.'s Muslims and Christians since Bozize's ouster. Much of the fighting since his departure has been between Muslim ex-Seleka forces and mostly Christian "anti-Balaka" militias.

Bouckaert said that some of those involved in the attack appeared to be anti-Balaka members.

In another development, HRW says Seleka fighters have been engaging in a "new wave of horrific attacks," in some cases with help from Chadian soldiers who are part of an African peacekeeping force.

In a Wednesday statement, the rights group said Chadian peackeepers have helped facilitate the movement of ex-Seleka fighters.

Bouckaert also said Chadian soldiers shot and killed civilians on Tuesday.

"Chadian peacekeepers who were in a town about 80 kilometers north of Bangui, called Boali, where 700 Muslims are sheltering in the Catholic church, opened fire on the civilian population, killing two," Bouckaert said. "So that is why we are calling for the suspension of the Chadian peacekeepers. They are not here to keep peace. They are here to assist the Seleka in committing atrocities and they should be suspended from this very important mission and their conduct should be investigated."

The United Nations human rights office has also expressed concern that Chadian peacekeepers appear to have supported Muslim ex-Seleka fighters in the C.A.R., a charge Chad has denied.

Bouckaert said Human Rights Watch gathered information about the alleged involvement of Chadian soldiers in the C.A.R.'s unrest during recent interviews with civilians in the town of Sibut and other regions.

He also said civilians described atrocities that include arbitrary detentions, torture and executions.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs