Central African Republic

Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Among the bunk beds in a dimly lit cell deep inside a women’s prison near the Central African Republic capital Bangui, religious murmurs take on an almost mystical aura. Huddled around a cluster of icons, inmates jailed for “practices of charlatanism and sorcery” (PCS) pray the rosary, mustering the last of their strength as if the only recourse left to them is the divine. Almost half of the 42 women held in the Bimbo prison facility have been accused of PCS, listed as a crimeRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) The government of Central African Republic deployed troops alongside United Nations peacekeepers Saturday to a flashpoint district on Bangui after clashes between rival groups left at least three people dead. “The government must restore peace,” said security minister General Henri Wanzet Liguissara in a speech broadcast on national radio. Peacekeepers from the UN’s MINUSCA force were deployed with government forces in the fractious PK5 and KM5 districts of Bangui “to take out all those who don’t want peace and want weapons to sound out,” throughoutRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Three people were killed and at least seven others wounded in clashes which erupted overnight between armed groups in a flashpoint district of Bangui, Central African Republic’s capital, medical sources said. An AFP correspondent saw two bodies at the mosque in PK5, the last Muslim enclave in Bangui, while another eight injured people were taken to two different hospitals in the capital, medical workers said, adding that one had later died of injuries. Once a Muslim rebel bastion, PK5 is now home to several armedRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) About 7,400 people have been forced to flee their homes as fighting raged between rival militias in northwest Central African Republic, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. The internally displaced people in the area of Markounda since late December have faced living conditions that “are extremely difficult,”, according to the ICRC, which is working alongside the Central African Red Cross and the NGO Doctors Without Borders. “Families are confined to makeshift huts. The only health centre in Markounda has beenRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) A stash of drugs and ammunition was found hidden in a truck chartered by a private company under contract with the UN in Central African Republic, the UN’s mission in the country MINUSCA said on Thursday. “MINUSCA has opened an investigation,” after Blue Helmets discovered several hundred shotgun cartridges hidden in containers, and an unspecified drug, in Ippy in central CAR, mission spokesman Vladimir Monteiro told AFP. All UN materials transported by private companies in CAR are in sealed containers marked “UN”, but Monteiro saidRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) The pot-holed streets of Bangui’s Muslim quarter are lined with stalls plying their trade to a cacophony of honking horns and cars backfiring — a comforting image of bustling life in Central African Republic’s capital. But beneath this veneer of normalcy, many traders in the flashpoint district of PK5 are on edge. Last month, they agreed as one to stop paying protection money demanded by the numerous “self-defence” militias set up to protect the city’s Muslim minority. Their defiance prompted an angry response from aRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic have appealed to armed groups controlling swathes of the chronically unstable country to stop looting and lay down their arms. Mired in poverty but rich in minerals, the former French colony has been battered by a conflict between rival militias that began in 2013 after then president Francois Bozize was overthrown. The bishops made the appeal during an episcopal conference in the capital Bangui on Sunday. “In the name of God, we ask the armed groups to unconditionallyRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) Hundreds of people in northwest Central African Republic have fled their villages following fresh violence between armed groups, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Sunday. Villagers fled gunfire and machete attacks to arrive in the small town of Paoua, where thousands of people have already sought refuge since fighting erupted in the region in November. “There are clashes at almost every point all around Paoua. We have seen hundreds of people flee their villages to take refuge in Paoua” since Wednesday, said Jean Hospital, MSF’s projectRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) A Central African Republic aid worker was killed after gunman stormed his home, his family said Thursday, the latest death in a week of clashes in the country. The 35-year-old man who worked for Italian humanitarian organisation Intersos, died at hospital following the shooting overnight Wednesday to Thursday in Kaga Bandoro, in the north of CAR. The region is controlled by two armed groups which last week prevented the celebration of a national holiday. At least 10 people had already been killed this week inRead More
Bangui (Central African Republic) (AFP) The country is chronically unstable and gripped by militia violence, its unpaved streets are a rush of crazy traffic — and for the vast majority of its impoverished citizens, a new bike is a laughable dream. But nothing deters the plucky racing cyclists of Central African Republic (CAR). At dawn, in dusty Bangui, a peloton weaves around white troop carriers of the UN force in a training session as part of efforts to revive the competitive sport in a nation ravaged by poverty and war.Read More