The interim United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Marc Vandenberghe and the entire humanitarian community in the Central African Republic (CAR) today condemned renewed violence against civilians in the capital, Bangui, and called on all parties to respect international law, to protect civilians and ensure that they can relocate from insecure areas.
“Under international humanitarian law, I call for the respect of obligations incumbent on all parties to protect all civilians in CAR and to preserve health facilities, enabling injured people, other patients and health workers to have free and safe access to these facilities” Mr. Vandenberghe said in a press release.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), on 26 September, violent clashes erupted in Bangui after the death of a young Muslim taxi motorcyclist. The incident left over a dozen people dead and several others injure. Thousands of people have fled the areas with heightened tension to seek refuge, mostly with host families and in displacement sites. Many houses were burned or looted.
Extremely concerned about the high number of victims, damaged houses and the new wave of displacement, Mr. Vandenberghe said the situation represents a big step backwards on the return plan set-up by the Humanitarian Country Team for internally displaced persons. “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to wish a speedy recovery to the injured people.”
Bangui still has 30 sites which host some 27,300 displaced people before the incidents happened. Over the past few years, the country experienced a major political crisis which continues to affect almost the entire population. About 2.7 million people, over half of the population, are in dire need of assistance.