Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Do Russians care? Kremlin cracks down after anti-corruption (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Do Russians care? Kremlin cracks down after anti-corruption (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

French presidential election: What attracts young voters to the far right?

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Italy challenged by populism

Read more

EUROPE NOW

60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome: What's to celebrate?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

How traffickers lie to migrants wanting to go to Europe; and the gold rush polluting rivers in Ivory Coast

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Startled startups flee UK ahead of Brexit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

What's next for Yemen?

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2014-01-06

Is the Central African Republic at breaking point?

After several weeks of bloody violence in Bangui, hundreds of thousands of people have now been displaced. Although the city is patrolled by French and African peacekeeping forces, the situation is still not under control. Our reporters on the ground witnessed the daily clashes and met the Christian and Muslim communities who now live in fear of each other.

The situation in the Central African Republic is extremely complex; many different forces are involved. In March 2013 the Seleka rebels toppled the former president François Bozizé and replaced him with Michel Djotodia.

The Seleka are mainly Muslims. After they came to power they carried out atrocities, and this led to the creation of self-defence groups called the anti-Balaka. Throughout December there were many clashes between the anti-Balaka and the former Seleka rebels. Last month more than one thousand people are believed to have been killed.

Another problem comes from the presence of different international forces in the country. The UN-mandated African force MISCA has nearly 4,000 troops. Among them are the Burundians, who last month accused the Chadians of having opened fire on them. Chad denies this.

In the Muslim districts many feel that the French forces (1,600 men) disarm the Seleka but not the anti-Balaka; France rejects the allegation. And in the Christian areas residents say Chadian forces are siding with the Seleka.

All the fighting has led to a dire humanitarian situation. Some 800,000 people have fled their homes, half of them in Bangui. In the capital, the largest camp is around the airport where 100,000 residents now live under tarpaulins, with no running water. One of the few NGOs there, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), said Thursday it was reducing its activities at the camp because of the violence in the area.

MSF says there is an urgent need for more humanitarian aid. The most shocking aspect, they said, is that this camp is not isolated in the jungle, but beside the airport of an African capital.

Text by Nicolas Germain

By Romeo LANGLOIS , Nicolas GERMAIN , Matthieu MABIN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-03-23 Europe

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Three years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, Russia has deployed all the tools at its disposal, in the police and the justice system, to silence...

Read more

2017-03-16 Americas

Canada’s indigenous people determined to improve their lives

Although Canada regularly tops international rankings for its quality of life, the daily existence of the country’s indigenous people, also known as "First Nations", has more in...

Read more

2017-03-09 Middle East

Iraq's lost children: Victims of post-traumatic stress

In Iraq, thousands of civilians are fleeing the battle of Mosul against the Islamic State group jihadists. Many of the displaced have reached IDP camps in the north of the...

Read more

2017-03-03 Africa

Libya: Six years on, what remains of the revolution in key city of Zintan?

Six years have passed since the outbreak of the revolution that led to the ouster and killing of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. With the country divided between rival clans,...

Read more

2014-03-14 Bashar al-Assad

Syria’s chemical attacks: the inside story

A chemical weapons attack targeted the suburbs of Damascus in August 2013. The West threatened air strikes in response, and Syria agreed to destroy its chemical arms stockpile....

Read more