Thursday 26 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/02/18)
Hundreds of people in northwest Central African Republic have fled their villages following fresh violence between armed groups, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Sunday. Villagers fled gunfire and machete attacks to arrive in the small town of Paoua, where thousands of people have already sought refuge since fighting erupted in the region in November. "There are clashes at almost every point all around Paoua. We have seen hundreds of people flee their villages to take refuge in Paoua" since Wednesday, said Jean Hospital, MSF's project coordinator in the region. "We received civilians who were directly targeted by gunfire or were attacked with machetes, while others are collateral victims of the clashes," he added. Rival armed groups the National Movement for...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Two rival armed groups in the northwest of the Central African Republic have signed a ceasefire agreement, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), which helped mediate the accord, announced on Saturday. The anti-Balaka, a self-proclaimed mostly Christian "self-defence" militia, and the 3R group, which claims to defend the ethnic minority Peul community, agreed in mid-December to cease hostilities in the Nana-Mambere district of the Bouar region, HD said. "Both groups have committed to an unconditional ceasefire as well as the cessation of all hostilities and attacks against armed fighters from the opposite side," the Geneva-based NGO said in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
The Central African Republic's embattled president has ordered the disbursement of two months' backpay to state workers, local media reported. President Faustin-Archange Touadera instructed the payment -- for unpaid salary dating to November and December 2013 -- after reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), they said on Sunday. Under it, the IMF gave the green light to a loan of $40.2 million, its third tranche in a programme for the deeply impoverished country, as well as an increase in aid. "I am delighted by this decision (by the IMF) because we met every condition," Touadera said.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport with his wife and four children after spending four years at a camp in Chad, telling AFP: "Now we've no other family. Now you are our family." The new refugees -- also hailing from Sudan --...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)
Russia has been authorized to provide the Central African Republic's armed forces with light arms, under an exemption to an arms embargo on the country granted by the UN, diplomatic sources said Friday. "It's clear," an official said on condition of anonymity. London, Paris and Washington had asked that the request be put on hold as they sought additional information on the shipments. They also called on Russia to strengthen measures related to the storage of the weapons in the Central African Republic, which has been under an arms embargo since 2013. "Our only request was that the Russian delegation submit additional information on the serial numbers of the weapons... so that we can track weapons going into CAR," said...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
The United States, Britain and France on Wednesday asked that a Russian request to send light arms to the Central African Republic be put on hold as they seek more information on the shipments, diplomats said. Russia has asked the UN Security Council for an exemption to an arms embargo on the Central African Republic (CAR) to allow the arms to be shipped to its armed forces. The first delivery of pistols, automatic rifles and ammunition is scheduled for next week. CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the weaponry...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/17)
At the frontier between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, a long queue stretches between two checkpoints as travellers wrestle with officialdom and the inevitable demand for a sweetener in order to cross. The headache of crossing the border at Ebebiyin, at the crossroads of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon, is typical of many frontier points in Africa, where customs hassles and kickbacks add to delays, costs and frustrations. But the problem here carries special weight. It is enduring despite a vow by a six-nation alliance in central-western Africa to create an unprecedented border-free bloc. "To cross by car from Cameroon to Gabon, we pay 30,000, 45,000 CFA francs (45 euros/$50 to 69 euros/$80). There's no explanation why,"...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/17)
Russia has asked the UN Security Council for permission to supply light arms and ammunition to the struggling armed forces of the Central African Republic beginning next week, according to a request obtained by AFP on Tuesday. The move has raised concerns from France which has questioned Russia's plan, notably over the storage of the weaponry, according to a Security Council diplomat who declined to be named. Russia is asking for an exemption to the arms embargo imposed on the Central African Republic in 2013 when the impoverished country descended into violence. CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the military assistance during talks at the Black Sea resort of Sochi in October, a diplomat said...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
A militia leader in the troubled Central African Republic (CAR) has been killed in clashes with rival groups in the country's gold-rich heart, sources said Tuesday. The fighting erupted on Sunday in the town of Ndassima, pitching two militias, the FPRC and UPC, against a rival called the RDR, which is in alliance with a splinter group of the FPRC. The RDR's leader, Gaetan Boade, was killed in the clashes, a police source in Bambari, reached by phone, told AFP. The account was confirmed separately by a UN official and by Azor Khalit, who heads the FPRC splinter group. Several sources said there had been additional deaths in Ndassima, although the toll remained sketchy. Ndassima lies at a crossroads of...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Plans by Central African Republic's beleaguered government to reassert control in the north of the country were in difficulties on Monday after clashes marred the return of the state's top representative to a key city. Colonel Augustin Tombou was formally installed on Saturday as prefect in the town of Kaga-Bandoro -- a politically important step in the strategy to restore state authority in strife-torn provinces. But sources reported a surge of violence, including mortar rounds fired against UN peacekeepers, gunfire targeting a camp for displaced people and a grenade that was thrown during Tombou's induction ceremony. Tombou's residence was "partially destroyed" and the prefecture itself was burned down, Jean-Serge Bokassa...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Humanitarian groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) have suspended operations, the UN said Friday, after an aid worker was killed in the north of the restive, landlocked nation. "The humanitarian community in CAR continues to pay a heavy price from the rise in criminal activity in northern, southern and southeastern regions," the UN's OCHA aid organisation said. At least 10 people had already been killed this week in clashes between rival armed groups, local officials and a UN source said on Thursday. The bloodshed, which began on Sunday in the central town of Ippy, resulted from clashes between the mainly Muslim...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Central African Republic aid worker was killed after gunman stormed his home, his family said Thursday, the latest death in a week of clashes in the country. The 35-year-old man who worked for Italian humanitarian organisation Intersos, died at hospital following the shooting overnight Wednesday to Thursday in Kaga Bandoro, in the north of CAR. The region is controlled by two armed groups which last week prevented the celebration of a national holiday. At least 10 people had already been killed this week in a wave of incidents between rival armed groups, local officials and a UN source said on Thursday. The bloodshed, which began on Sunday in the central town of Ippy, resulted from clashes between the mainly...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Violence near the northern border of Central African Republican has forced thousands of people to flock to the tiny town of Paoua, the Red Cross said Wednesday. About 11,000 people have found refuge in the northwestern townlet since fighting between various armed groups intensified last month near CAR's northern border with Chad, said spokeswoman Sylvie Pellet. "Many surrounding villages have been emptied" and the displaced have found shelter with families or at the health centre, Pellet said. Before these recent clashes, the situation in the area was "relatively calm," she added. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, the former French colony has been battered by a three-year conflict between rival militias that began after then-president Francois Bozize was overthrown...
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
Roadblocks in war-torn areas of Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo provide armed groups with millions of euros (dollars) in annual income, a report said Wednesday. A year-long study by the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), a Belgian research group, found 1,082 roadblocks in CAR and in the North and South Kivu provinces of eastern DRC alone. Money extorted from road users nets armed groups around seven million euros ($8.2 million) annually, it estimated. Roadblocks are a "key mechanism of conflict funding," IPIS said in a statement. "Strangling development and livelihoods, attracting violent confrontations and generating millions in revenues...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end of 2016. That number does not include those who have fled across borders to seek refuge, with UN figures showing there were more than 5.6 million refugees in Africa by end of last year. Internal displacement has soared in a...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our world should not threaten the sustainability of our great achievements in the AIDS response," he warned. "We cannot afford to lose our gains. If we want to end this epidemic, we must act now and act differently." About 36.7 million...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
The country is chronically unstable and gripped by militia violence, its unpaved streets are a rush of crazy traffic -- and for the vast majority of its impoverished citizens, a new bike is a laughable dream. But nothing deters the plucky racing cyclists of Central African Republic (CAR). At dawn, in dusty Bangui, a peloton weaves around white troop carriers of the UN force in a training session as part of efforts to revive the competitive sport in a nation ravaged by poverty and war. "There are no race teams left in Central Africa. There used to be more than 10 of them and they supported athletes and bought equipment," says Christ-Noel Yarafa, who has run the cycling federation for...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.

Pages