$60m US defence aid to Central African Republic

The US has announced it will provide $60 million in defence aid to the Central African Republic. It already pledged to help transport French troops deployed to the former French colony amid ongoing violence between Muslim and Christian communities.

Latest ITV News reports

US pledges $60 million in Central African Republic aid

The US has pledged $60 million in aid for the Central African Republic.
The US has pledged $60 million in aid for the Central African Republic. Credit: Reuters

The US has announced it will provide $60 million in defence aid to the Central African Republic. America has already pledged to help transport French troops which were deployed to the former French colony amid ongoing violence between Muslim and Christian communities.

Background: What is behind the crisis in Central African Republic?

Advertisement

Violent clashes and looting in Central African Republic

Hundreds of people were killed in the last week in Central African Republic.

The former French colony descended into chaos since mainly Muslim Saleka rebels siezed power in in March.

Angry mob attacks a mosque in Bangui. Credit: REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

Read: What is behind the crisis in Central African Republic?

People are seen looting in the capital city. Credit: REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

More reports of angry mobs looting houses and setting cars on fire are coming from the Central African Republic.

The capital city of Bangui saw a mosque set on fire, with civilians armed with wooden clubs and machetes attacking nearby houses.

A boy squats inside a burnt out car in Bangui. Credit: REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

Looting by angry mobs in Central African Republic

Reports of angry mobs looting houses and setting cars on fire are coming from the Central African Republic.

The capital city of Bangui saw a mosque set on fire, with civilians armed with wooden clubs and machetes attacking nearby houses.

Compressed_image_normal

Angry mob scene in Bangui this morning as tensions rise & people call for President Djotodia to step down #CARcrisis http://t.co/EnNLhekaPq

Bbipulvceaec8c4
Edb6c4b667e14f493003e86eb651d3ce_normal

Latest report from UNOCHA for #CAR - 459 dead following clashes, 108,000 displaced in Bangui, 533,000 displaced across the country.

Twitter_491u3248_normal

We met a 14 year old boy in the #Seleka military camp today. All his family was killed so he wants to be a soldier. Wrong. #CARcrisis @hrw

Obama records message for Central African Republic

US President Barack Obama urged the citizens of Central African Republic to "reject the violence currently threatening their country, and move together toward a future of security, dignity, and peace."

Mr Obama recorded a direct message to the CAR people during a stopover in Senegal, as he was on his way to South Africa to attend the memorial service for the former South African president Nelson Mandela.

Respected leaders in your communities—Muslim and Christian—are calling for calm and peace. I call on the transitional government to join these voices and to arrest those who are committing crimes.

– Barack Obama

The President said the US will support international efforts to restore security and protect civilians.

Advertisement

French soldiers killed while 'helping harassed people'

The two French soldiers who died in Central African Republic, have been identified as marine paratroopers from the 8th Regiment based in Castres.

They died when they came under attack during an overnight patrol, French parliament speaker Claude Bartolone told reporters.

French soldiers in CAR Credit: REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

"They were injured and quickly brought to a surgical unit, but unfortunately could not be saved," he said.

According to one peacekeeper in Bangui, a rebel commander was harassing people, who called the French to come and help them.

"They came and tried to disarm the Seleka but gunfire erupted," he said.

Read: What is behind the crisis in Central African Republic?

France's Hollande to visit Central African Republic

French President Francois Hollande will visit the Central African Republic on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by his office.

French President Francois Hollande Credit: Mousse/ABACA

Mr Hollande will visit the country on his way back from South Africa, where he was due to attend a ceremony to honour Nelson Mandela.

Two French soldiers have been killed in Central African Republic on Tuesday, according to French media.

Troops were deployed to the former French colony amid ongoing violence between Muslim and Christian communities.

Read: French soldiers killed in Central African Republic

What is behind the crisis in Central African Republic?

French troops have arrived in the Central African Republic amid ongoing violence between Muslim and Christian communities.

France is deploying 1,600 troops in CAR Credit: REUTERS/Herve Serefio

Why are the French sending troops?

CAR is a former French colony, which has seen decades of instability since its independence in 1960.

The country’s location is a major concern. Neighbouring South Sudan and DR Congo are fragile and the international community is afraid the conflict could spread.

The UN Security Council authorized a French-backed peacekeeping force to quell this spiralling violence.

Who are the different sides and why are they fighting?

In March, opposition rebels ousted the country’s president Francois Bozize.

The largely Muslim Seleka rebel group then suspended the constitution and installed its leader, Michel Djotodia, as the president.

Mr Djotodia has since lost the control over his fighters, who embarked on months of looting, rapes and killings of civilian communities, according to the United Nations Security Council.

The Christian majority have now formed militias and have been fighting back against the rebels, the UN say.

The conflict has since deteriorated into religious violence.

How many foreign soldiers are in the country?

France is deploying 1,600 troops to use force to help African peacekeepers struggling to restore order.

The African Union force is also due to be increased to 6,000 from 3,500.

Will the UK get involved in the conflict?

Not directly. The UK is in talks about providing "limited logistical support."

The Ministry of Defence said there was no prospect of combat troops being sent.

Read: UK in talks on CAR military support

Are civilians in danger?

The Red Cross reported that over 400 people have been killed over the weekend since Friday, many civilian. UN says nearly 400,000 people have been displaced, with 70,000 forced to flee the country.

2.3 million children are affected by the crisis, UNICEF says.

Load more updates