Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

UN troops likely needed to save C.African Republic: EU aid chief

Source: Reuters - Fri, 17 Jan 2014 23:26 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war hum-aid
A child looks on during Friday prayers outside a mosque in a Muslim neighbourhood in the capital Bangui January 17, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Central African Republic could still be saved from becoming another failed state like Somalia, but it probably will require the deployment of a strong United Nations peacekeeping operation, European aid chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

Waves of attacks by Muslim and Christian militias have killed hundreds, if not thousands, in Central African Republic since rebels seized power in March 2012. A U.N. official warned on Thursday of the risk of a genocide.

Georgieva, who has visited Central African Republic twice since the crisis erupted, told Reuters in an interview that initially people were wary of speaking out about the sectarian violence because they were concerned it would become a self-fulfilling prophecy, like "pulling the tail of the devil."

France last year deployed some 1,600 troops to help a largely ineffective African peacekeeping force. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is due to submit a report to the Security Council next month with recommendations for a possible U.N. peacekeeping force that would take over from the African troops.

"The option of a U.N. peacekeeping operation must be looked into very seriously," Georgieva said.

"While it is very good for Africans to help each other, Central African Republic, being where it is, makes it more difficult, more complex for an African solution because of the complicated relations between Chad and Central African Republic," she said.

The United Nations said on Tuesday that a U.N. human rights team has gathered testimony that Chadian citizens, including peacekeepers, carried out mass killings.

Central African Republic - with a population of 4.6 million - lies at a crossroads of conflict in the heart of Africa, with Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia to the east, the Islamist threat in the Sahel region to the northwest and the revolts of the Great Lakes to the southeast.

More than a million people have been displaced by the violence. Over 1,000 people were killed last month alone in the capital Bangui, prompting neighboring countries to evacuate more than 30,000 of their citizens.

"The Central African Republic is bad, but it is not yet Somalia, it is not yet al Qaeda, al Shabaab, Boko Haram territory. We act now, it doesn't turn into one, but it would take a very strong effort," Georgieva said.

Georgieva is due to host an aid conference on the Central African Republic in Brussels on Monday.

"The donor community now has a chance to redeem itself because CAR has been an aid orphan for many, many, many years and that has contributed to the weakness of the country, it has been forgotten by the world," she said. (Writing by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Ken Wills)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Related Spotlights
RELATED CONTENT
Related Content
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs