[QODLink]
Inside Story

Crisis in CAR: forgotten - now ignored?

Humanitarian groups raise concerns over escalating violence a year after a coup in Central African Republic.

Last updated: 24 Mar 2014 19:42
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

It has been a year now since a mostly Muslim rebel coalition staged a coup in Central African Republic, and a campaign of looting and killing that followed.

It has prompted a violent backlash from Christian militias. Thousands of people have died with atrocities and killings committed by both sides, and there are new warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Bangui, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said: "The inter-communal hatred remains at a terrifying level, as evidenced by the extraordinarily vicious nature of the killings. This has become a country where people are not just killed, they are tortured, mutilated, burned and dismembered."

The UN says almost a million people are displaced within Central African Republic, or seeking safety in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon, representing nearly a quarter of the population.

During a World Food Programme visit, executive director Ertharin Cousin warned: "The people who have been affected by the crisis here in the Central African Republic are not only being forgotten, they are now being ignored and we cannot allow children to go hungry, we cannot miss the planting season while the world ignores the people of CAR." 

A growing number of peacekeepers are being sent to the country - but as yet, they have been unable to stop the downward spiral of violence. France has committed 2,000 soldiers; there are some 6,000 soldiers in the African Union's peacekeeping mission, known as Misca - which translates as International Support Mission in Central African Republic; while the European Union has contributed 1,000 soldiers.

The UN has proposed a 12,000 strong force, which would have a more robust mandate, with an initial focus on protecting civilians - but it could be up to six months before they're on the ground.

So are more peacekeepers the answer? And can the international community do more to help, or does it have other priorities?

Presenter: Jane Dutton

Guests: Florent Geel - Africa director for the International Federation for Human Rights

James Schneider - editor of the online magazine Think Africa Press

Louis Keumayou - president of the Pan-African Press Association

359

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list