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Central African Republic: ICRC brings aid to 1,700 newly displaced people

07-05-2009 News Release 09/91

Bangui (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed a distribution of food and other basic necessities to nearly 1,700 people who fled the villages of Moudou 1, Moudou 2, Kengar and Bocayanga, in Kabo sub-prefecture between Kabo and Moyenne Sido, approximately 375 kilometres north of Bangui.

The most recent offensive, in mid-April, forced some 330 families in Bocayanga (15 kilometres north of Kabo) and nearby villages to flee. Most of the villagers were caught off their guard by the hostilities and had to leave everything behind, taking with them only the clothing they were wearing. Their houses were burnt down and their possessions, including food, were destroyed or looted. Fearing new clashes between the two parties, these people do not dare return home. They prefer to remain in the bush, where they feel more secure.

The ICRC reminded the parties of its mandate and had exchanges both with government authorities and with the FDPC in order to obtain the security guarantees needed to proceed with the distribution of essential items. When the distribution took place on 30 April, each family received clothing, soap, blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, sleeping mats, tarpaulins, kitchen utensils and a one-month food ration consisting of peanuts, corn, oil and salt.

The ICRC reminds all parties of their obligation under international humanitarian law to respect and protect the lives and dignity of civilians, wounded people and those captured in connection with the conflict. The parties to the conflict are required to respect and protect civilian objects and objects indispensable to the survival of the population, such as foodstuffs. Attacks against or pillaging of these objects is strictly prohibited.

 For more information, please contact:  

 Kelnor Panglungtshang, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 21 611 014 or +236 75 54 72 46  

 Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24