United Nations: The United States announced an additional USD 22 million in humanitarian aid for Central African Republic, on the eve of a key vote at the UN to authorise the deployment of peacekeepers.
The latest funding brings to USD 67 million the amount the US has released for the war-ravaged country this financial year, said the US mission to the United Nations, whose chief, Samantha Power, is visiting the country.
More than USD 8.8 million of the USD 22 million is for health, protection, economic recovery, relief commodities, water and sanitation efforts for non-governmental organizations and the World Health Organisation.
An initial contingent of 55 EU troops made their first patrols in the capital Bangui yesterday, their arrival coming a day before the Security Council is expected to give the green light to the deployment of some 12,000 peacekeepers in order to help end the violence.
A coup in March last year by the Muslim Seleka rebels plunged the country into chaos. After seizing power, some of the rebels went rogue and embarked on a campaign of killing, raping and looting.
The abuses prompted members of the Christian majority to form vigilantes called "anti-balaka," or anti-machete in the local Sango language, unleashing a wave of brutal tit-for-tat killings in the former French colony.