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March 23-29, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on March 30, 2015

Contents

Compiled by Christina Murphy

  1. United Nations increases number of peacekeeping troops 
  2. Government minister arrested for rape 
  3. Anti-balaka fighters kill 12 Peuhl herders, kidnap 50
  4. Chadian soldiers arrest 6 in Ngaoundaye
  5. Cameroon residents kill CAR rebels after attempted kidnapping

1. United Nations increases number of peacekeeping troops
International media

"Central African Republic: Security Council Boosts UN Mission Presence As Tensions Continue." UN News Service, via AllAfrica.com, 26 March 2015. In English.

  • In a unanimous resolution, the UN Security Council agreed to increase the number of peacekeeping troops in the UN mission in CAR (MINUSCA). The addition includes 750 military personnel, 280 police personnel, and 20 corrections officers. 
  • The Security Council said that the situation in CAR continues to be a "threat to international peace and security" due to ongoing instability and violence. 

Nichols, Michelle. "U.N. boosts peacekeepers in Central African Republic by 1,000." Reuters, 26 March 2015. In English.

  • The UN Security Council approved the addition of 780 military personnel, 280 police, and 20 corrections officer to the MINUSCA force, bringing the total number of uniformed peacekeeping troops to nearly 13,000.
  • The increase comes as the European Union force is leaving the country and the French Sangaris force is beginning to scale back. The UN mission previously replaced the African Union mission in the country in September 2014. 
2. Government minister arrested for rape
Government-owned media

"Après avoir été accusé de viol, le ministre anti-balaka Romaric Vomitiadé a été arrêté." Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 24 March 2015. In French.

  • The Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Crafts, Romaric Vomitiadé, was taken into custody on the evening of 23 March 2015. He is accused of raping a minor during an official visit to a displacement camp in Yaloké.
  • In an interview, Vomitiadé claimed that he is innocent and said that he was surprised to hear the charges against him.
Privately-owned media

Sebiro, Wilfried Maurice. "Viol: Le ministre balaka Romaric Vomitiadé en garde à vue à la SRI." Centrafrique Libre, 24 March 2015. In French.

  • Tourism Minister and anti-balaka leader Romaric Vomitiadé was taken into custody by the gendarmerie on the evening of 23 March 2015 on charges of rape.
  • Vomitiadé's diplomatic immunity had been revoked by transitional president Catherine Samba-Panza in February 2015. The article notes that Samba-Panza had previously told Vomitiadé that he had no place in her government. 
3. Anti-balaka fighters kill 12 Peuhl herders, kidnap 50
Privately-owned media

Krock, Sylvestre. "Dix nomades musulmans tués par des Anti-Balaka." Journal de Bangui, 26 March 2015. In French.

  • Nearly a dozen Muslim nomads were killed by anti-balaka fighters in the area surrounding Kaga-Bandoro, in the west of the country.
  • Ahmat Nedjad, spokesman for the ex-Seleka Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC), released a statement saying that "the Peuhl herders were intercepted in their migration corridor and were massacred by the anti-balakas in Kaga-Bandoro. We are without news of several others, and can find no trace of them or their livestock."
  • Although the attack had not been confirmed by MINUSCA at the time of publication, an anonymous source from the international NGO Caritas said that their organization had taken in more than thirty survivors of the attack, mostly women and children. According to the same source, one of the Peuhl leaders told Caritas that ten people had been killed and 52 others were kidnapped in the attack.
International media

"Centrafrique: plus d'une dizaine d'éleveurs peuls tués à Nana Gribizi." Voice of America, 31 March 2015. In French.

  • The leader of the National Federation of Central African Herders in Nana Gribizi, Boucar Abdoul Garba, reported that at least a dozen Peuhl herders were killed and fifty were kidnapped in an attack by anti-balaka fighters on four villages near Kaga Bandoro. 
  • The prefect of Nana Gribizi, Gaston Yendemo, confirmed the attack but said that nine people had been killed and four injured.
  • The article says that reprisal attacks led by Peuhl herders took place during the weekend of 28-29 March, causing approximately twenty deaths. 
4. Chadian soldiers arrest 6 in Ngaoundaye
International media

"Six Centrafricains enlevés par des soldats tchadiens." Afrique Actualité, reprinted in Africatime, 27 March 2015. In French.

  • Chadian soldiers crossed the CAR border and kidnapped four men and two women from the border village of Ngaoundaye in north-west CAR.
  • According to a priest in Ngaoundaye, those kidnapped were members of the Révolution Justice movement, who had killed two people and stole cows in Chad. The same priest aid that those arrested will be turned over to MINUSCA forces to face justice. 
  • The article notes that this is the third incursion into Ngaoundaye by Chadian soldiers in the last two months. 
5. Cameroon residents kill CAR rebels after attempted kidnapping
International media

"Cameroon Residents Kill Suspected C. African Republic Rebels." The Associated Press, via The New York Times, 29 March 2015. In English.

  • A local official in eastern Cameroon reported that several suspected CAR rebels were killed while attempting to kidnap civilians near the border town of Garoua-Boulai on 28 March.
  • The official said that fifteen armed men led the attack, and several were killed. Two are being held by the local population. Several civilians were reportedly injured, but no definite number was given.
  • No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the article reports that local officials believe the attackers to be members of the ex-Seleka group Democratic Front of the Central African People. 
Analysis

The violent attacks recorded in the media this week demonstrate the ongoing instability in many parts of the country, particularly in border areas near Chad and Cameroon. In addition, while many major towns have been secured and some level of normalcy is returning, Muslim and Christian communities remain almost completely segregated, with sporadic violence breaking out between them. In order to achieve long-term stability and reconciliation, greater efforts must be made at the grassroots to de-escalate rhetoric and tensions between these communities. Regarding ongoing efforts to secure the country, the UN Security Council's decision to add troops to the MINUSCA force is a positive one, particularly since the European Union's mission in CAR (EUFOR-RCA) recently ended. However, care must be taken during these transition periods to ensure that security gaps do not emerge and that civilians are fully protected. 

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