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Central African Republic: aid for 160 fighting-affected people in Birao

29-12-2010 News Release 10/236

Bangui (ICRC) – A total of 160 people whose houses were damaged or destroyed in recent clashes in the town of Birao, in Vakaga prefecture, received aid today from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, cooking utensils and other essential items were distributed in partnership with the Central African Red Cross Society.

"Most Birao residents had to flee into the bush to escape the violence that broke out at the end of November," said Alexandra Goodlad, head of the ICRC office in the eastern Central African Republic. "When they returned home, 160 people found themselves without shelter and, as a result, in a very vulnerable situation. The aid we are providing is intended to meet their most urgent needs and to enable them to start rebuilding their lives."

In addition to providing this assistance, the ICRC is in regular contact with those taking part in the hostilities in the Birao area to remind them of their obligations under international humanitarian law, and in particular of the basic rules concerning the protection of civilians not taking part in hostilities.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization. Its exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the life and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other violence and to provide them with assistance.

For further information, please contact:
Ewan Watson, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 72 07 69 64