Skip to main content

Children beheaded as violence grows in Central African Republic, U.N. says

By Faith Karimi, CNN
January 3, 2014 -- Updated 0640 GMT (1440 HKT)
A Central African Republic police officer chases looters attacking a broken-down truck Friday, February 7, in the capital of Bangui. The country, a former French colony, was plunged into chaos last year after a coalition of mostly Muslim rebels ousted President Francois Bozize. A Central African Republic police officer chases looters attacking a broken-down truck Friday, February 7, in the capital of Bangui. The country, a former French colony, was plunged into chaos last year after a coalition of mostly Muslim rebels ousted President Francois Bozize.
HIDE CAPTION
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
Crisis in the Central African Republic
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Internally displaced number exceeds 935,000, U.N. says
  • U.N. reports escalating violence against children
  • Thousands of children recruited into armed groups
  • Number of child soldiers in the nation has doubled to 6,000, U.N. says

(CNN) -- Escalating violence in the Central African Republic is posing a threat to children, with at least two beheaded and thousands recruited as soldiers, the United Nations said.

The United Nations says it verified the deaths of 16 children since violence broke out in the capital of Bangui on December 5. Dozens of others have been injured.

"We are witnessing unprecedented levels of violence against children. More and more children are being recruited into armed groups, and they are also being directly targeted in atrocious revenge attacks," said Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF representative in the nation.

Number of child soldiers doubles

Chilling violence spreads in C.A.R.

Late last year, the U.N. said the number of child soldiers in the nation had doubled to 6,000 as violence escalated.

"Targeted attacks against children are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and must stop immediately. Concrete action is needed now to prevent violence against children," Diabate said.

In the capital, 370,000 people -- about half the population -- have been displaced, the United Nations said.

More than 935,000 people have been internally displaced nationwide, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.

Chaos, violence

The nation plunged into chaos after a coalition of rebels named Seleka ousted President Francois Bozize in March, the latest in a series of coups since the nation gained independence.

They accused him of reneging on a peace deal and demanded that he step down. Months before his ouster, both sides had brokered a deal to form a unity government led by the President.

But that deal fell apart as the rebel coalition pushed its way from the north toward the capital of Bangui, seizing towns along the way.

Rebels infiltrated the capital in March, sending Bozize fleeing to Cameroon.

Fears of genocide

Since then, political turmoil raged and violence became the order of the day. Seleka is a predominantly Muslim coalition, and to counter the attacks, vigilante Christian groups fought back. The country descended into anarchy, and the United Nations has warned that a genocide is brewing.

Aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian crisis as rapes, killings and other horrors grow in the nation. An unknown number of people have been killed in remote rural areas that are too risky to access. Others have fled into forests.

Aid agency Doctors Without Borders said Thursday it will reduce medical activities at the airport in the capital because of insecurity.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT