March 30, 2015 14:11 UTC

As It Is

UN Security Council Moves to Help African Forces in CAR

Soldiers from the Republic of Congo operating as part of an multinational force in Central African Republic arrive last December, now more troops have been promised.
Soldiers from the Republic of Congo operating as part of an multinational force in Central African Republic arrive last December, now more troops have been promised.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • UN Security Council Moves to Help African Forces in CAR


From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is! I’m Mario Ritter.
 
Today we hear about a measure of how African countries are being governed. But first, we learn about efforts to increase security in the Central African Republic following last year’s rebellion.
 
France Promises More Active Role
 
Last week, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to support an African Union force in the Central African Republic. France proposed the resolution to help African efforts to bring order to the country. Rebels captured Bangui, the capital, in March.
 
More resolutions are expected. They include a proposal to make the African force into a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
 
As we hear from Pat Bodnar, France's foreign minister visited Bangui earlier this week. He talked about expanding security operations.
 
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks in New York City earlier this year (File).French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks in New York City earlier this year (File).
x
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks in New York City earlier this year (File).
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks in New York City earlier this year (File).
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the African force will grow from 2,100 to 3,500 soldiers. He also said France will send additional troops by the end of the year. He says France will take a more active role in security operations in keeping with Security Council decisions.
 
Mr. Fabius said the African force "must have the capacity to act and France is going to help." France currently has 410 soldiers in the Central African Republic. The foreign minister said those troops are mainly required to protect the airport and guard Bangui. He said, with upcoming U.N. resolutions, "these different forces will be able to intervene more quickly and effectively."
 
Violence, including widespread stealing, has forced 400,000 civilians to flee their homes this year. Rebel fighters and self-defense militias have been involved in deadly clashes and revenge attacks in the provinces since early September. 
 
Mr. Fabius said a decision in September to end the Seleka rebel coalition should take effect. That means there should not be armed groups around Bangui or in the countryside. He also said elections must take place as planned in early 2015. He said Nicolas Tiangaye and Michel Djotodia will not be candidates. Mr. Tiangaye is currently acting as prime minister. Mr. Djotodia is the Seleka rebel leader who is now interim president of the Central African Republic.
 
African troops have been in Bangui since the rebellion began in the north of the country last December. The troops have been largely unable to prevent stealing or to protect civilians. French troops have placed their attention on protecting France's interests in its former colony.
 
Ups and Downs in the African Governance Index
 
Mo Ibrahim has announced his seventh annual African Governance Index. Mr. Ibrahim is a businessman from Sudan who became a billionaire in telecommunications. This year’s ranking looks similar to last year’s list. Avi Arditti tells us more about the list.
 
Mo Ibrahim speaks about his leadership prize in London in this file photo from 2008.Mo Ibrahim speaks about his leadership prize in London in this file photo from 2008.
x
Mo Ibrahim speaks about his leadership prize in London in this file photo from 2008.
Mo Ibrahim speaks about his leadership prize in London in this file photo from 2008.
Once again, Mauritius is again rated as the best governed of the 52 African nations in the survey. Mauritius received the highest score for personal safety, economic opportunity and development.
 
Eighteen of the 52 nations received their best scores ever in the latest report. It says, for 94 percent of Africans, governance has improved since 2000. That was the year when data started being collected and studied. Mr. Ibrahim says progress is being made slowly. But he also warns of what he says are worrying developments.
 
The latest report shows a decrease in safety and the rule of law especially in the six lowest ranked countries. The six are Zimbabwe, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. The report says the findings signal a shift toward social unrest. 
 
Somalia again scored worst in all four measures of good governance. Two of those measures are safety and rule of law, and participation and human rights. The other two are sustainable economic opportunity and human development.
 
Also, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation did not award a $5 million African governance prize to a former head of state this year. The foundation did not give the award last year either. Mr. Ibrahim created the governance award in 2007. It can go to former African leaders who have left office in the last three years. Candidates for the award must have shown exceptional leadership. They must have been democratically elected. And they must have left office voluntarily after serving only a constitutionally limited term.
 
Past winners include South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde.
 
Mr. Ibrahim spoke from his London headquarters. He said a new development in international justice could present difficulties in the future.
 
On Saturday, the chairman of the African Union said that the group would not permit a sitting head of state to be tried by the International Criminal Court. The court wants to try two current African leaders: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Mr. Kenyatta's trial is set to begin next month over charges that he helped to incite ethnic violence after Kenya's disputed 2007 election. Mr. Bashir is accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Darfur.
 
Mr. Ibrahim says he shares some of the criticism of the International Criminal Court, including accusations that it unfairly targets Africa. But, he says the Africa needs a court to try such crimes.  
 
“Africa does not corner the market in atrocities. There are atrocities everywhere. Why the ICC is not showing the same energy in prosecuting atrocities elsewhere other than Africa, that is a valid question. At the same time, we need really to ensure that in Africa there is no impunity.”
 
The African Governance Index does not include Sudan or South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011. The foundation says it does not have enough information on either nation to rank them. 
 
And that’s our show for today. Join us tomorrow for another As It Is program from VOA Learning English.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ivan
11/07/2013 7:54 PM
we need to find a way to avoid civil war and protect civil

Learn with The News

  • Audio Chinese Development Bank Gains Members

    The Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, proposed by China, is aimed at financing infrastructure projects in Asian countries. The United States has voiced concerns about how the bank might affect organizations such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. But some U.S. allies have joined. More

  • Fashion District New York City

    Video 'Made in New York' Incentives for Fashion Designers

    The Made in New York program provides help to factories that invest in technology and workforce development. To date, New York City has approved more than one million dollars to eligible factories. More

  • Fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls before infrared imaging, right, and after, left, are seen.

    Video Dead Sea Scrolls Still Have Lessons to Teach

    A California museum is now showing the largest exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls ever seen outside of Israel. There are 20 Dead Sea Scrolls and many other royal and ritual objects on display in the exhibit. Modern science is revealing hidden texts and the exact age of the scrolls. More

  • 顾客在香港一家书店翻看与中国大陆有关的书籍。(2012年6月1日资料照)

    Audio Book Publishers Warn of Censorship in Hong Kong

    Publishers and authors are warning that censorship is increasing in Hong Kong. They say bookstores are returning books connected to authors who have been involved in the recent pro-democracy protests. Bookstores are under pressure to not carry books that may offend China's central government. More

  • Video Could Drones Help Save Rhinos in South Africa?

    Searching for illegal hunting is best done from above. But piloted flights are costly. Now, some college students have made a drone to look for poachers. It is low cost and can observe more places than other aircraft. South African officials may find drones a good tool in animal protection efforts. More

Featured Stories

  • Audio New Treatment for AIDS Called a ‘Big Deal’

    Read on to learn words like mutate, neutralize and antiretroviral as you learn how researchers have found a way to trick HIV, the virus causing AIDS, into killing itself. The difficulty level might be high as this article describes what happens when a genetically modified cell becomes an HIV killer. More

  • Video Angelina Jolie Has Second Surgery to Prevent Cancer

    The 39-year-old actress published a piece in The New York Times about her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to protect herself from cancer. She had a double mastectomy two years ago for the same reason. The latest surgery leaves the mother of six unable to have more children. More

  • Space Rocket to Launch Weather Satellite Into Deep Space

    Video Satellite Will Watch Sun Storms, Send Warnings to Earth

    Strong storms on the sun can cause problems for satellites, radio communications and even airplane travel. A satellite is now traveling 1.5 million kilometers to enter the sun’s orbit, just in time to observe the extreme weather on the sun at its most violent time the sun’s 11-year cycle. More

  • An employee plays the game Flappy Bird at a smartphone store in Hanoi, Feb. 10, 2014.

    Audio Too Much Gaming is a Pain in the Neck

    Smartphones and other electronic devices, or gadgets, are becoming more affordable. Children in India are using them more and more. Doctors say children who spend long hours playing video games are increasingly showing signs of physical deformities, meaning their bodies are not growing properly. More

  • Video Secrets of a Saddle-Maker

    People began riding horses thousands of years ago. Saddles for horseback riding were invented soon after. Today, many companies manufacture saddles. But it is rare to find someone who designs and makes these products by hand. American Keith Valley is one of the few. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner blog
Confessions of an English Learner blog

 

 

 

Tell us About Our Programs