#AceWorldNews – BANGUI – April 04 – Chadian soldiers killed 30 civilians and seriously wounded more than 300 in an indiscriminate attack on a market on March 29 in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, Reuters quoted a spokesman for the UN human rights office as saying on Friday.
Local officials and aid workers had previously put the death toll to at least 10, with 30 wounded. Chadian soldiers have been at the heart of African efforts to stabilize CAR, but have been accused of siding with the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.
Their seizure of power last year sparked tit-for-tat violence with Christian militia.
#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – April 01 – Today in Brussels, at the meeting of European Union and African foreign ministers, foreign minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union must settle on the launch of the Central African Republic operation as soon as possible, in order to prevent the conflict from escalating.
“The current crisis situation in the Central African Republic explicitly shows the need for cooperation with international forces,” Paet said. “Failure to stop escalation of the conflict may result in a real threat of genocide developing in the Central African Republic,” he added.
Paet stated that Estonia recognises the work done so far by France and the African Union to help alleviate the situation in the country. “Estonia has chosen to contribute up to 55 members of their Defence Forces for the European Union’s military operation,” he said.
Foreign minister Urmas Paet expressed hope that under the leadership of interim president Catherine Samba-Panza, the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic will improve.
The entire 4.6 million population of the Central African Republic has been effected by the crisis. People have no access to health care and there is a shortage of food. There are about 700 000 internal refugees and nearly 250 000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.
The African Union’s MISCA operation and the French Sangaris operation are currently operating in the Central African Republic.
The European Union and African foreign ministers also discussed Africa’s wider security concerns and the ability of European countries to contribute to the preparation and training of security forces, since Africa’s sense of ownership in regulating the continent’s tensions is considered essential.
Estonian military personnel participated in the European Union Training Mission in Mali, which was Estonia’s first ever military involvement in Africa.
Courtesy of Press Release – http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/19618
#AceWorldNews – AFRICA – March 31 – Chadian troops reportedly opened fire and killed at least 24 people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, local officials says (BBC)
The attack was by a Christian militia, in a Christian neighbourhood in northern Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), an officer with the African peacekeeping force MISCA who requested anonymity told AFP.
The CAR has been hit by civil war since Seleka rebels ousted President Francoise Bozize in March 2013.
Despite 6,000 African Union and 2,000 French peacekeepers, violence has continued unabated. Around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have fled their homes.
The Chadian forces are not part of the African Union peacekeeping force and were in CAR to help Chadian nationals evacuate the country.
#AceWorldNews An European Union Peace Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) risks not going ahead next week if European states do not raise their military contributions, France warned Friday.
“Despite contributions announced by some European states, the total falls short,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said a joint statement.
“If additional contributions do not materialize rapidly, it will not be possible to launch this vital operation next week as planned,” they said.
RT – AP – AFP
#AceWorldNews says around 28,000 people have fled from the conflict-torn Central African Republic to neighbouring Cameroon since the start of this month, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.
“The new arrivals from CAR are living in appalling conditions.
Most of them lack food and shelter,” AFP quoted Dan McNorton, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), as saying.
Since a coup in March 2013, about 35,000 people, mainly Muslims escaping communal bloodshed, have fled across the border to Cameroon.
#AceWorldNews says following the resignation of the Central African Republic’s two interim leaders, the top United Nations official in the crisis-riven country called for calm today, urging the authorities to mobilze around the speedy election of new transitional leadership.
In a statement issued by his office in Bagui, Babacar Gaye, Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peace-building Office for the Central African Republic (BINUCA), took note of the resignation yesterday of President Michel Djotodia and Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye.
“He calls on members of the National Transitional Council (CNT) to mobilize around the urgent election of a new transitional executive, as agreed at the extraordinary summit of Heads of States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday, 10 January 2014, in N’djamena, Chad.” Armed attacks between ex-Séléka and Christian anti-balaka militias have escalated significantly in the past two weeks, despite the creation of a transitional government following the attack a year ago by mostly Muslim Séléka rebels which forced President François Bozizé to flee.
Since then, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, nearly 1 million driven from their homes, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid.
Delivering a message on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the ECCAS Summit on Thursday, Mr. Gaye stressed that the past year’s events have profoundly damaged the relationship between Muslim and Christian communities in the CAR, and warned that there is a real danger of further upheaval along religious lines.
“The horrific cycle of violence and retaliation between communities must stop immediately,” he said. “Distrust is high and violence has fuelled anger and a thirst for revenge,” he added, highlighting the need to prioritize reconciliation efforts. Disarmament of combatants in accordance with international standards is essential, Mr. Ban stressed, noting also the importance of demobilization and reintegration of the former fighters.
Today, Mr. Gaye called on the people and the leaders of the CAR to maintain calm and show maturity following the leaders’ resignations. “Along with the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), French forces, SANGARIS, have made important progress in securing Bangui,” he said, adding that their efforts must be supported, especially as numerous threats persist.
“The entire UN System and our humanitarian partners are fully mobilized to assist approximately two million people who are in urgent need of assistance across the country,” he said.
To that end, yesterday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) issued an appeal for $40.2 million for CAR. That request, which is for the period to the end of March, follows appeals launched by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in late December for $152.2 million in immediate support needs for a 100-day plan for CAR.
UNHCR’s supplementary appeal for CAR aims to support more than 1 million people, including 86,400 refugees in neighbouring countries and 958,000 internally displaced persons.