Central African Republic

Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) UN peacekeepers on patrol in the Central African Republic exchanged fire with members of an armed group in a Muslim enclave of the capital Bangui, the United Nations said Sunday. The peacekeepers were fired at in the Muslim rebel bastion called PK5, home to several armed groups and they responded, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping mission known by its initials MINUSCA. The attack occurred Saturday evening and “clearly the target was the peacekeeping troops,” he added. The armed groups operating in theRead More
Berengo Palace (Centrafrique) (AFP) Inside a sprawling former “imperial palace” near Bangui, Russian instructors have set up a camp where they are training soldiers of the Central African Republic (CAR) in using Russian weapons. Since late January, the former home of president Jean-Bedel Bokassa — who took over in 1966 and later declared himself emperor before being overthrown in 1979 — has been transformed into a hive of activity. Over the past two months, more than 150 instructors have been brought in, according to a diplomatic source. They are trainingRead More
On the Ubangi River (Centrafrique) (AFP) Armed gangs in the troubled Central African Republic have routinely taxed cargo boats on the southern Ubangi River since 2014, causing food price hikes that hit the poor hard. “All you need is a weapon, you install a toll post on the river,” one boatman says. “Then goods become too costly and some people have given up trading because of that.” Armed groups that emerged when the CAR plunged into crisis after a 2013 coup started late the following year to put up smallRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) For a few months each year, the Ubangi, a tributary of the mighty River Congo, dries up and a cluster of ephemeral islands emerge from its torrents before the skies darken and seasonal downpours return. The river, also spelled Oubangui, marks the border between Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and most of the islands are barren and deserted. But a handful host temporary communities, with dozens of makeshift straw huts and tarpaulins stretched out along their sandy banks, as villagers,Read More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) For a few months each year, the Ubangi, a tributary of the mighty River Congo, dries up and a cluster of ephemeral islands emerge from its torrents before the skies darken and seasonal downpours return. The river, also spelled Oubangui, marks the border between Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and most of the islands are barren and deserted. But a handful host temporary communities, with dozens of makeshift straw huts and tarpaulins stretched out along their sandy banks, as villagers,Read More
Obo (Central African Republic) (AFP) Refugees seeking safety from the atrocities of South Sudan’s unending conflict cross the border only to find themselves in one of Africa’s most war-torn and poorest countries. Neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) has been ravaged by armed groups vying to control the vast landlocked nation, trapped in poverty where more than half the population survives on humanitarian aid. In the southeastern town of Obo, some 2,000 South Sudanese have fled to a refugee camp set up by the United Nations in 2016. But it hasRead More
Obo (Central African Republic) (AFP) Every morning, Joseph gets on his motorbike to tend to his field of manioc, in the thick bush surrounding the Obo, in southeastern Central African Republic. This day, though, is not ordinary. Joseph is tense with worry. There are rumours that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), one of Africa’s most notorious and longest-surviving militias, is in the area. “They recently attacked hunters just 15 kilometres (nine miles) away,” said Joseph, who, despite his fears, picks up his tools to work on his precious crop. TheRead More
Obo (Central African Republic) (AFP) By his own admission, former militia man Patrick Kidega spent half of his life as a plunderer — guarding his leader, stealing from locals and kidnapping children as his group rampaged across central Africa. But he himself was a stolen child, abducted at the age of 15 and forced to join one of Africa’s most notorious armed groups: the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). “One evening, in Uganda, I was coming back home after school and as I arrived men from the LRA came out ofRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) The sound of drums rips through the air in a dusty alley scorched by the afternoon sun in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. Passersby stop in their tracks, entranced by the hypnotic rhythm pounded out by the musicians of the national dance company. In a country bloodily divided by ethnic and religious strife, the National Central African Ballet is a rare unifying factor — a melting pot, professing no favouritism or allegiance to any group or sect. For at least two days aRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Unknown attackers have killed six humanitarian workers including one from the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF in the northwest of the Central African Republic, the UN said Wednesday. The world body’s Minusca mission “condemned the attack which led to the death of the six humanitarian workers including one from UNICEF,” on Sunday at Markounda. Markounda has been plagued with violence since the end of last year as the National Movement for the Liberation of Central Africa and the Revolution and Justice party battle for domination.Read More