UN Confirms 25 Dead In Central African Republic Violence

UN Confirms 25 Dead In Central African Republic ViolenceThe two days of fighting in Central African Republic has led to the death of 25 persons.

The number of casualties was disclosed in a statement on Saturday by the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.

“Clashes between elements of the anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka caused 15 deaths and a number of others wounded.

“Six gendarmes and four civilians lost their lives on Friday morning in an ambush on the Bambari-Grimari road,” the Minusca mission said.

The UN mission appealed to all armed groups to end “the cycle of attack and reprisal”.

The Central African Republic has been wracked by conflict along religious and ethnic lines since 2013.

Central African Republic: No Winner Emerges In First Round Of Election

CAN2Central African Republic looks set for a run-off vote to elect a new president to try to end a cycle of Muslim-Christian violence after former prime minister Anicet Georges Dologuele topped the poll but fell short of a majority.

Dologuele won 23.78 percent of votes, followed by another former prime minister, Faustin Archange Touadera, with 19.42 percent, National Election Authority (ANE) president, Marie-Madeleine Nkouet, said on Thursday, quoting provisional results.

In the absence of an absolute majority, the constitutional court is set to announce a second round run-off. The provisional date for this is Jan. 31.

Thirty contenders were vying to lead the former French colony where a three-year sectarian conflict has killed thousands of people and driven a million others from their homes despite efforts by U.N. and French peacekeepers to restore order.

Violence intensified when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in early 2013, prompting reprisals from anti-balaka militias drawn from the Christian majority.

Twenty of the candidates had previously voiced objections to the vote and urged for counting to halt but most of them have since changed their position.

Central African Republic Ex-PM, Touadera Ahead After Election

Touadera ahead after CAR's electionFormer Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Faustin Touadera, has taken a surprise lead in early results from the CAR’s presidential election.

30 candidates contested the poll, which is likely to go to a run-off between the top two on January 31, but Mr Touadera was not seen as a favourite.

He was a Prime Minister in the government of ex-president, Francois Bozize, ousted in 2013 by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Voting took place on December 30, with UN troops guarding polling stations.

30 candidates vied to replace interim leader, Catherine Samba-Panza in the former French colony.

The CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries – yet it is rich in natural resources.

Elections also took place for the 149-seat National Assembly.

After seizing power, the Seleka rebels installed Michel Djotodia as the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian country.

But under pressure from regional leaders and former colonial power, France, Mr Djotodia stood down and was succeeded by Ms Samba-Panza.

Voting Starts In Central African Republic

central-african-republicVoters in the Central African Republic (CAR) are going to the polls to elect their next President and lawmakers who are expected to restore a stable government after years of violence.

Thirty presidential candidates are vying to replace interim leader, Catherine Samba-Panza.

United Nations (UN) peacekeepers hope to stop a repeat of the violence during a referendum on a new constitution.

The CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Muslim Seleka alliance seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

Network Africa: S.Sudan, CAR Search For Funds As Nigeria Searches For Missing Girls

Network AfricaNetwork Africa looks at how far things have gone concerning bringing back the missing schoolgirls in Nigeria, amidst claims by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, that the military had located the girls.

Demonstrators in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, however, have vowed to carry on with their protests.

South Sudan is relying heavily on the international community as more funds are also needed to save the people of Central African Republic.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says more assistance is needed in an overcrowded and flooded South Sudanese Refugee Camp where almost 100,000 people are sheltered in tents.

Illegal immigration is also on the rise, as migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa penetrate the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures at all cost.

We bring you interviews and reports.


Network Africa: Quest For Justice In C.A.R, S. Africa, As Nigerians Cry ‘Bring Back Our Girls

Chibok Girls NAThis edition of Network Africa focuses on ‘Bring Back Our Girls’, getting justice for Nigerians, conflict resolution and more brow raising details concerning the trial of the decade.

While protests continue both in Nigeria and many parts of the world, the dastardly Boko Haram group which is responsible for the abduction conveniently made a video which was released by the French news agency, the AFP, on Monday may 12.

The video supposedly showed images of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped by them.

The terror group claims many of the girls have been converted from Christianity to Islam while being held and all those in the footage could be seen wearing headscarves. The group’s leader said that it will release them in exchange for militant prisoners being freed.

Another issue generating a buzz is the death of Oluwatoba Falode; his grieving mother suspects foul play in the murder of her son, who was a 19 year old student in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Her speculation contradicts the report of the Dubai Police, which recorded that the boy fell off the balcony of his 17th floor apartment in Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina.

Outside of Nigerian shores, the U.S President, Barack Obama, has imposed sanctions on Central African Republic’s former president, François Bozizé, and four other men linked to violence and human rights abuses in the country.

The country has been plagued by sectarian violence for a year after Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power, and “anti-Balaka” militias, mainly Christian, fought back.

Thousands have been killed and about a million people displaced. The Interim President, Catherine Samba Panza is, however, determined to bring a change to the conflict ridden country.

The trial of the decade continues, a judge in the trial of South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius has ordered that he should undergo a mental evaluation.

She took that step based on the fact that psychiatric evidence before the court could not replace “a proper enquiry” into his mental health. Network Africa speaks to a clinical psychologist to find out his view on the matter.

Band members of Basi Na Mizik rehearsed for an upcoming festival, an event that many hope will become an important fixture on the Congolese music calendar. Founders of Basi Na Mizik – which means “women in music” in the local Lingala language – hope to create a movement that will give Congolese female artistes more prominence in the industry.

C. African Republic Interim President Orders Military Crackdown To Curb Violence

Central African Republic’s Interim President, on Monday, January 13, warned vigilante groups that the time of pillaging the country was over.

Interim leader, Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, sent hundreds more soldiers onto the streets with orders to shoot anyone disturbing the peace.

The nation has been gripped by months of inter-religious violence, which killed 1,000 people in December alone.

After a coup in March 2013, abuses by rebel Seleka forces led to the creation of Christian self-defence militias and killings that evoked memories of Rwanda’s genocide 20 years ago.

Nguendet became Interim President over the weekend after former interim leader, Michel Djotodia, who was swept into power by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, succumbed to international pressure to resign on Friday, January 10.

Joy over Djotodia’s departure gave way to violence over the weekend, with sporadic attacks, particularly at night, on Muslim-owned shops and businesses.

“All of the armed elements, I am warning the anti-Balaka and Seleka that the holiday is over. To the forces of order, I order you to shoot to kill at all those disturbing the public order, so that peace can reign in this country. The break is finished,” Nguendet said in an address to the nation’s armed forces.

Nguendet added that the period of “anarchy” in the country was over.

“I have launched an operation, called “Bangui without gunfire.” There will be a rapid intervention operation put in place, under my command. In case of robbery, this rapid intervention team will be working 24 hours a day and the number will be given to the population. Whenever there is a robbery, or vandalism, in any neighbourhood, minutes later the perpetrators will be neutralised.”

The Red Cross said its workers collected 10 bodies from the streets over the weekend and it had treated some 60 wounded people at the Community Hospital in Bangui.

“The break is over. The robberies are over. The chaos is over. The Central African people must get back their honour to allow the country to live,” Nguendet said.

Former colonial power, France, which had sought to stay out of the latest crisis in a country where it has often intervened, dispatched hundreds of soldiers last month to bolster a beleaguered African peacekeeping force as the killings spiralled.

The National Transitional Council will start work on identifying a new leader on Tuesday, January 14.

Under the country’s transitional charter, Nguendet will lead the country until a new interim president is chosen by the council, within two weeks of Djotodia’s resignation.

Militia Attack Muslims In Capital Of Central African Republic

Heavy arms fire and gunshots rang out across the capital of the Central African Republic on Friday as Christian militia forces attacked Muslim neighbourhoods, sending residents fleeing.

A spokesman for the 3,700-strong African Union peacekeeping force, MISCA, said the “anti-balaka” fighters had attacked the PK 5 and Fatima neighbourhoods, home to the city’s minority Muslim population.

An attack on Bangui by Christian militias in early December sparked a wave of bloody reprisals by the Muslim Seleka fighters who seized power in March. Hundreds of people were killed in the violence, prompting France to send peacekeeping troops to its former colony.

Guy-Simplice Kodegue, a spokesman for the interim government, said the Christian militia forces had tried to reach the centre of the riverside capital.

All economic and social activity had stopped as panicked residents fled, he told reporters.

The deployment of 1,600 French troops to Bangui helped to restore a semblance of calm in recent days, but the clashes were a reminder of the tension that erupted into months of massacres, rapes and looting following Seleka’s seizure of power.

The United Nations estimates more than 200,000 people in Bangui – a quarter of the population – have been displaced by the fighting. The MISCA spokesman said a Chadian peacekeeper had died of his wounds after an attack on a MISCA patrol on Thursday.

On Friday, three Seleka fighters were shot dead in central Bangui after one pulled out a grenade at a checkpoint when MISCA soldiers tried to disarm them. A Congolese MISCA soldier was injured in the firefight, an officer said.

MISCA says it has disarmed several thousand Seleka fighters and returned them to barracks. France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told TV5 Monde on Friday that French forces were disarming both sides, anti-balaka and Seleka, indiscriminately.

Speaking in Brussels, French President Francois Hollande repeated calls for other European nations to help restore order in the landlocked African nation of 4.6 million people.

“France is undertaking the most dangerous part of the mission, but we hope that there will be a European presence at our side,” he said.

Under the terms of a U.N. resolution passed on December 5, France hopes to hand over responsibility to security to the MISCA forces in six months. The African Union force is due to reach 6,000 troops by the end of January.

“We could even foresee that force going up to 9,000,” said Hollande, who hosted a summit in Paris this month to convince African nations to send more forces.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said on her Twitter feed Rwanda was preparing to send troops, after the African Union asked it to participate.