News / Africa

Violence Leaves CAR Residents in Perpetual Fear

African Union intervention force (MISCA) secures the area during an operation to free the way leading to the north of Bangui on March 25, 2014.
African Union intervention force (MISCA) secures the area during an operation to free the way leading to the north of Bangui on March 25, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
— The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warns the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic will get worse without major efforts to restore security in this lawless country.  A senior ICRC official says the lack of security keeps the population in a state of perpetual fear. 

According to the ICRC, the people of Central African Republic are held hostage to pillaging, killings and sexual violence meted out by the warring factions.  

Patrick L'Hote, the ICRC head of operations for Central and Southern Africa, who just returned from a four-day visit to the country, told VOA people live in a state of constant danger. Survival is their only mode of existence.  

“What is going on now between the communities is very difficult and puts the people in a very difficult situation.  They fear for their life," he explained.  "They are put under a lot of pressure during the day, but also during the night.  And, this takes place in a country, which was already before the events in a state of extreme poverty.” 

L’Hote said this pervasive fear affects every aspect of society and hampers the ability to provide humanitarian aid.  He said local health workers are under enormous pressure during the day while treating the sick and wounded. 

“But, they also experience a difficult situation in their private life during the night when they are with their family - fearing for their life, for their belongings and sometimes forced to flee their home on a very short notice,”  he noted.

The Red Cross was present in the country before this current war broke out at the end of 2012.  That made it easy for the agency to move smoothly from a traditional to an emergency operation as the crisis grew.

The agency’s main focus is on the health sector.  It has three surgical teams working around the clock at the Community Hospital in the capital, Bangui.  It says around 70 percent of those receiving emergency care are victims of shootings or stabbings.

The ICRC also provides medical care in other parts of the country, such as the town of Kaga Bandoro and in Ndele in the north.  

But, operations head L’Hote says the Red Cross's traditional role as neutral mediator between warring parties is difficult to perform in the C.A.R.

“You do not have two well defined groups fighting against each other.  You have a combination of different factions, groups," L'Hote said. "Criminality also is rising up in the present days, so it has a real effect on the deterioration of the situation.” 

L’Hote said impunity in the country is widespread.  He said people feel they can do whatever they want and will not have to pay a price for their actions.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid