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Central African Republic: Continuing violence in Bambari and surrounding area

10-07-2014 Operational Update by 14/06

Bambari and its surroundings have been rocked by violence, and the local population is being seriously affected. At the end of June, fighting injured or killed dozens of people. Thousands sought refuge near places of worship and international military posts. Since 7 July, there have been further outbreaks of violence, including an attack on a camp for displaced people. Once again, many have been killed or injured.


Internally displaced women from Bangui. © REUTERS/G. Tomasevic

Jean-François Sangsue, head of the ICRC's delegation in the Central African Republic, made a renewed appeal to the warring parties. “Once again, we call on all those involved to spare civilians and to spare the wounded, whether combatants or non-combatants.”

Over a dozen injured people were taken to Bambari hospital by ICRC staff, who also brought a dozen bodies to the morgue for subsequent burial by the Central African Red Cross Society. The ICRC had supplied equipment and medicines to Bambari hospital when violence first broke out. On Tuesday 8 July, it delivered a 200 litres of fuel.

Inter-communal tensions remain high in Bambari and the surrounding area. A spiral of violence is being fuelled by reprisals. The population lives in fear; people no longer come to sell or buy goods at market, so food is becoming scarce. Access to clean water and health care is also severely restricted. The fact that the rainy season is at its height only makes matters worse.

In the rest of the country, the situation remains difficult both for displaced people and residents of certain areas. Food, seed and tools are being regularly distributed to both displaced people and those who have returned to their homes. Providing access to water is a fundamental aspect of the ICRC’s work, and clean water is regularly delivered to camps in Bangui and Kaga Bandoro to support the work of the Central African Water Board.

 

Between the end of April and the start of July, the ICRC worked closely with the Central African Red Cross to:

  • take over 40 injured or sick people to hospital in Bangui and the country's interior;
  • give more than 11,000 therapeutic consultations at  its mobile clinics in the of Kaga Bandoro area;
  • carry out over 580 surgical operations;
  • refurbish and upgrade Bangui's community hospital;
  • continue to make daily deliveries of 250,000 litres of water to the airport in Bangui, in order to meet the needs of the thousands of people sheltering there;
  • build more than 60 latrines and 20 showers at camps in Kaga Bandoro;
  • carry out three distributions of food to around 27,000 people in seven camps in Bangui (once every fortnight), thus ensuring people one proper meal a day;
  • distribute food rations to more than 20,000 people living along the road between Bambari and Ippy, to provide support during the planting season;
  • distribute essential items to over 1,100 people in Bambari following the destruction of their home, Liwa village, in June;
  • build community shelters for over 1,000 people in camps in Kaga Bandoro;
  • distribute tools and cuttings of cassava plants resistant to the cassava mosaic virus to 18 rural communities in Kaga Bandoro, Birao and Ippy (This project is intended to increase the number of resistant varieties in the country.);
  • raise awareness of the fundamental principles of humanitarian law and human rights among more than 150 fighters, more than a dozen community and religious leaders, and young people.

The ICRC also visit over 440 detainees, in seven detention facilities, to ensure that conditions and treatment comply with international standards.

The ICRC remains deeply concerned about failure to respect international humanitarian law and the most fundamental standards of humanity. It is working tirelessly with the Central African Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to respond to the needs of the wounded, the sick, detainees and others.

For further information, please contact:
Germain Mwehu, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 75 64 30 07
Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 60  or  +41 79 574 06 36