Tuesday 21 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
More than 5,000 victims of atrocities committed by troops commanded by former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba are calling for individual reparations, rights activists said Monday. International judges sentenced Bemba in June 2016 to 18 years in jail on five charges of war crimes committed when his troops went on a murderous and violent rampage in neighbouring Central African Republic between October 2002 to March 2003. Most of the victims "have lost everything, and continue to live with the physical and psychological consequences of the crimes, horrors and traumas they have experienced," said a rights NGO. Although Bemba has appealed his sentence, the ICC is already preparing the ground for what reparations should be awarded...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
he UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to beef up the UN mission in the Central African Republic with 900 extra troops and step up measures to prevent sex abuse by peacekeepers. The council voted 15-0 to extend the mandate of the MINUSCA force for a year following negotiations between France, which drafted the resolution, and the United States, the biggest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping. Despite its repeated calls for cuts to peacekeeping, the United States agreed to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Four people were killed and over 20 wounded when grenades were thrown into a concert in the capital of the chronically unstable Central African Republic, while revenge attacks later left another three people dead, the UN peacekeeping force and a local official said Sunday. In the first serious incident of violence in Bangui this year, the assault late Saturday saw two unidentified attackers hurl grenades at a cafe called "On the Crossroads of Peace" during a performance, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA. CAR's minister for public security, Henri Wanzet...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
BANGUI (Reuters) - Seven people were killed and around 20 others were injured in a grenade attack on a peace concert and reprisal violence in Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, on Saturday and Sunday, government officials and city residents said. The riverside city has in the past been a flashpoint for inter-religious violence that erupted between Muslims and Christians in 2013 and has since engulfed most of the impoverished, landlocked nation. Interior Minister Henri Wanzet Linguissara said two individuals on...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Around him, pigs squeal and goats bleat and beat their hooves in excitement as feeding time approaches. Life has changed a lot for Richard Ngueringu, a former militiaman in his early thirties who has witnessed some of worst things that humanity can offer. Once a member of a so-called self-defence group, he says he has witnessed hundreds of killings, as well as atrocities, in Central African Republic's years-long conflict. Today, in the central town of Bambari, he has swapped his...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
The United States signaled on Tuesday it was ready to back a French-drafted UN resolution that would bolster the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic with 900 extra troops. The Security Council is considering the measure following a request from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has warned of a risk of ethnic cleansing in parts of the impoverished African country. The draft resolution would extend the mission known as MINUSCA until November 2018 and increase the number of uniformed...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Central African Republic's embattled government is in a faceoff with former fighters of an ousted militia who are occupying three barracks in the CAR capital Bangui, an AFP reporter saw Tuesday. More than 1,200 of the former rebels have been told to quit the buildings but some are refusing to leave, the reporter found. The former fighters were once with the so-called Seleka alliance, a coalition of Muslim-majority militias. They have been occupying the barracks since the Seleka overthrew the...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Six countries in central and western Africa have breathed life into long-running plans to allow visa-free movement of people among their nations. At a summit in the Chadian capital of N'Djamena, the countries formally declared late Tuesday that the scheme had now been ratified by all members. The agreement gathers six francophone states -- Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo -- in a bloc called the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The association, set up in 2000, has a potential market of 30 million consumers, many of whom however, live in poverty.
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Fighting between armed groups around the town of Batangafo in northern Central African Republic have left at least two dead and 10 wounded, aid workers said Monday. Seven of the wounded were admitted to a hospital run by Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Batangafo and three were sent to a facility in Kabo, Sandra Smiley, with MSF in the capital Bangui, said. UN sources said fighting broke out on October 24 between anti-Balaka militia -- a group that says it...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/17)
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Friday came under pressure to overhaul the role of UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic as he wrapped up a visit to the conflict-torn country. Guterres's four-day visit came ahead of a Security Council decision on whether to renew the mandate of the UN's peacekeeping force and meet a request for reinforcements. In a meeting with the secretary general, a group of lawmakers called on the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA to be more active in tackling violence. "There's been a lot of words (about MINUSCA)...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
The president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, on Thursday vowed to push ahead with a contested programme of "dialogue" with militia groups, in comments backed by visiting UN chief Antonio Guterres. At a joint press conference on the penultimate day of a four-day visit by Guterres, Touadera said a programme of "disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration" of armed groups was at the "centre" of his strategy. Guterres said Touadera had "the entire support of the United Nations" and appealed...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
UN chief Antonio Guterres arrived in the strife-ravaged town of Bangassou on Wednesday for a first-hand look at a notorious hotspot in Central African Republic's bloody conflict. Guterres, making his first visit to one of Africa's most troubled countries since he took the UN helm in January, stepped off a plane from the capital Bangui, where he arrived late Tuesday. Mineral-rich but extremely poor, CAR has been battered by a three-year conflict between rival militias that began after the then...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in the Central African Republic Tuesday to assess the country's fragile security situation as violence between militias threatens to intensify. Crowds of people braving heavy rain lined the road from Bangui airport to the capital to greet him. On the first day of his visit, which coincided with United Nations Day, Guterres led a wreath-laying service in honour of peacekeepers killed in action. "There is nothing more precious than peace. There is nothing more...
(The Associated Press 10/25/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid tribute Tuesday to the thousands of U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic, the site of one of the U.N.’s most dangerous missions and the most sexual misconduct allegations against peacekeepers and U.N. personnel last year. The U.N. chief attended a wreath-laying ceremony in the capital of Bangui. A dozen peacekeepers have lost their lives so far this year amid escalating violence in the long-volatile country. “We need to make sure that the world fully appreciates...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Christian and Muslim leaders in Central African Republic (CAR), speaking ahead of a visit by United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, have urged the UN to overhaul its strategy for the strife-torn country. Guterres is expected on Tuesday, ahead of a requested renewal in November of the UN force in CAR, called MINUSCA, which has been accused by some of passivity. "If they're just television spectators of the conflict, that won't do," Cardinal Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the Catholic archbishop of Bangui said in a joint interview on Saturday alongside the country's Muslim and Protestant leaders. "A revision of strategy" has to go hand-in-hand with a mandate for UN troop renewal, said Protestant leader Nicolas Guerekoyamene-Gbangou.
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is expected to arrive in the Central African Republic on Tuesday, as violence between Muslim and Christian militias has intensified in the past few months. "This is a gesture of solidarity with the peacekeepers working in one of the most dangerous environments," Guterres said in an interview with AFP and Radio France Internationale (RFI). His trip to one of the world's poorest countries will be his first as part of a peacekeeping mission since taking...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
The Central African Republic, which the UN Secretary General is to visit on Tuesday, is one of the world's poorest nations, wracked for the past four years by civil war. The landlocked country has been struggling under international pressure to recover from conflict between Muslim and Christian militias that started after the 2013 overthrow of leader Francois Bozize. The primary victims have been civilians. - History of instability - The country has enjoyed little peace or stability since gaining its...

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