Tuesday, March 27, 2007

French air force bombs Central African Republic... again

One of the more beneath the radar conflict zones in the world is the northern part of the Central African Republic (CAR). This is probably in part because it borders the more high-profile war zones of Darfur and eastern Chad. But the CAR isn't doing much better.

Last November, French fighter jets bombed rebel positions in the northern CAR. More recently, an entire town was laid waste following clashes.

"Never before has the UN seen a town where 70% of houses have been torched," said the UN's humanitarian coordinator to the CAR.

The UN says that some 14,000 people have fled the town [of Birao] to live in the bush, while just 600 remain in their homes.

There are now some 250,000 displaced people in CAR - three times more than a year ago, the UN says.

While both rebels and the military regime blame each other, The BBC's Joseph Benamsse in the capital, Bangui, says it is clear that both regular troops and rebels are responsible for the destruction of Birao.

A female medical worker in the town added, "French jet fighters also contributed to the destruction as they hit some houses."


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