UN: Half of Central African Republic needs aid

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. officials are warning the Security Council that Central African Republic is on the brink of a catastrophe, with half the population made homeless since ethnic warfare broke out.

U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman told the council Monday that about 2.2 million people throughout Central African Republic need assistance, about half the total population.

About half the people of Bangui have been driven from their homes, a total of about 513,000, he said. About 100,000 are jamming a makeshift camp at the airport near the capitol.

The Central African Republic has been plunged into chaos as the country’s Christian majority seeks revenge against the Muslim rebels, who seized power in a coup in March. Fighting between Christian and Muslim militias intensified in December.

An attack on Bangui by the Christian militia calling itself the anti-Balaka on Dec. 5 triggered heavy unrest in the capitol, Feltman said. A report in late December by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported 600 deaths in Bangui in those attacks, and Feltman put the current total at “750 casualties” in the capital.

“The death toll outside Bangui is likely to be substantial,” he said.

“Killings in Bangui and the rest of the country continue every day, and the population remains divided along religious affiliation,” Feltman said.

The U.N. Children’s Fund warned at the end of December, that children are being recruited into the militias, and verified the killings of at least 16 children since Dec. 5 — two of whom were beheaded.

In December the Security Council authorized a multinational African peacekeeping force, which is expected to increase its troop strength from about 2,500 to 3,500, to keep a lid on the violence. France sent in about 1,600 troops on Dec. 9 to back them up.

More in Local News

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

Front Porch

EVENTS Autoharpist in Everett Folksinger, storyteller and autoharp virtuoso Adam Miller returns… Continue reading

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Most Read