15 000+ CAR civilians at risk of attack

2014-02-25 16:24

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Thousands of civilians in conflict-torn Central African Republic are at imminent risk of attack, the UN refugee agency warned Tuesday, calling for heightened security and more international troops.

More than 15 000 people in 18 locations in the northwest and southwest of the impoverished African country "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups", UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters.

He stressed that minority Muslim civilians were "at very high risk of attack and urgently need better security" and more international troops on the ground.

His comments came ahead of a parliamentary vote in Paris that was expected to extend the French military mission in the country beyond April.

The Central African Republic has been torn by communal violence since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the government in March 2013 and handed power to their leader, Michel Djotodia - who was himself forced out last month for failing to rein in atrocities by his former fighters.

Despite the presence of French and African peacekeeping troops, violence has continued unabated, as so-called anti-balaka militias, mainly from the Christian majority, have retaliated against the country's Muslims.

"Atrocities have become frequent," Edwards said.

On Saturday, a mob stopped a taxi in a Bangui neighbourhood and killed the three Muslim men inside.

Evacuations

And last week, anti-balaka militiamen attacked a convoy of people escaping from a besieged area of the capital.

"All 21 men in the convoy were killed, leaving 119 frightened children and 19 women, who fled to a nearby village," Edwards said.

Another recent attack by the militias in Boali, north of the capital, had left 11 people dead, he said, adding that "800 traumatised survivors" had sought refuge at a church, where they were being protected by international forces.

The UNHCR and other aid organisations were responding as best they could to the situation, and as a last resort were assisting in evacuations from areas where attacks were deemed imminent, Edwards said.

"But humanitarian efforts alone cannot be sufficient," he said, calling for more international troops.

"Their numbers are far too low considering the size of the country and the scope of the crisis," he said, pointing out that nearly one million Central Africans had fled to neighbouring countries, while more than 700 000 were displaced inside the conflict-wracked nation.

The number of French peacekeepers is expected to rise from 1 600 to 2 000 to support a 6 000-strong African Union force.

The European Union plans to send 1 000 troops to the strife-torn country. A French minister said the deployment would start next month.

Read more on:    un  |  seleka rebels  |  michel djotodia  |  central african republic  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.