With scores killed in fresh sectarian violence and militia fighters still refusing to disarm, Central African Republic remains on a razor’s edge following the recent pullout of French troops and other key donors. After more than two years of atrocities between Christian and Muslim groups that displaced more than 450,000 persons, CAR seemed to be returning to normal, holding peaceful talks and polls earlier in the year.
But despite 12000 UN peacekeepers and a few remaining French soldiers, tensions are still high, with tens of thousands still displaced and in need of aid. Last week alone saw 30 people slain with many being injured, when a Muslim militia group attacked civilians and clashed with peacekeepers in the town of Bangui. Amid fears of an imminent sectarian bloodbath, French Defense Minister Jean Le Drian recently flew into the capital to wind up French military operation Sangaris.
CAR plunged into chaos following the March 2013 ousting of then president Francois Bozize, which was mainly orchestrated by the Seleka rebel alliance.
More South African Universities have been shut following students riots over an eight-percent fee increase announced by the government earlier last week. The University of Cape Town and the University of Witswaters were first to close on September 21th. Since then, police have employed rubber bullets and stun grenades to chase away protesting personnel in Central Johannesburg, in further outbreaks of turmoil resulting from failed negotiation efforts between higher institution administrators and students. Clashes with security personnel have resulted in a significant number of students being injured, while others have been arrested and detained by authorities. Learners are calling for the government’s commitment to free education.
Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande, has condemned the violent demonstrations, mentioning that it is indeed disturbing to witness such atrocities; after wide consultations efforts were undertaken on the announced initiative seeking to address the ongoing concern of university fees. He mentioned that the government had already heeded to the student’s call by focusing on resources which subsidize children from poor, working and middle income families, to in turn negate repercussions of the tuition fee rise.