Fighting from 30 to 31 July in Batangafo, Central African Republic (CAR) has caused renewed displacement, according to Jens Laerke of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
With skirmishes between ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka elements leaving some 20,000 people displaced in town and thousands more on major roads in the region, he told reporters in Geneva today that an inter-agency assessment mission has been deployed to visit Batangafo early next week.
“Additionally, clashes on 4 August again affected the humanitarian situation and hindered humanitarian access to those people,” reported Mr. Laerke.
Anti-balaka and Séléka have been embroiled in fighting since the latter were ousted from power in January 2014 – with inter-communal retaliatory attacks continuing to fuel the conflict.
The fighting has left over half the population – 2.5 million people – in need of humanitarian assistance with an estimated 527,000 people still internally displaced, including 102,000 internally displaced persons in the capital, Bangui.
Mr. Laerke quoted CAR’s Senior Humanitarian Coordinator Claire Bourgeois, who issued a statement saying: “We call on all parties involved in the fighting to respect the civilian population and humanitarian agencies trying to help them.”
Ms. Bourgeois also called for a return to peace in line with the spirit of the recent Brazzaville ceasefire accord.