Foiled coup in Central African Republic displaces over 75,000 people: UN agency
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said some 60,000 to 70,000 people had been displaced internally in areas south of the capital of Bangui. Another 14,000 to 17,000 residents went to Equateur Province in the north-western corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
UNHCR has dispatched a four-member team to Zongo and nearby villages in the Equateur Province to coordinate emergency assistance with aid agencies operating in the area. Aid operations were also planned for some 600 Central African refugees in the northern towns of Betou and Impfondo on the Republic of Congo side of the Oubangui River. Hundreds of refugees are reported arriving daily in these areas.
The refugees said they fled their homes after the government mounted a crackdown in the wake of a failed coup attempt on May 28 by followers of former army chief André Kolingba. The attack on President Ange Félix Patasse's residence in Bangui reportedly left scores of people dead. In the following weeks, troops reportedly hunted down members of the Yokoma ethnic group, to which Kolingba belongs, UNHCR said.