from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THE killing of some passengers, including a health worker, in a public transport truck south of the country shows how civilians continue paying a high price for the perpetual cycle of violence in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The shooting incident occurred in Grimari city in the Ouaka prefecture.
It is among a string of incidents highlighting the escalating situation after CAR held divisive elections last Sunday.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders), confirmed of its medical staff members had been killed during the incident in Grimari.
He had taken the public transport truck on his way to the capital Bangui, which is more than 200 kilometres away.
An unspecified number of passengers were killed and others injured.
“This armed incident in Grimari and the killing of our colleague is another clear illustration of the human toll of recurring violence in CAR,” said Marcella Kraay, MSF Deputy Head of Mission.
“Once again civilians are caught in the crossfire of a deadly conflict and are victims of an endless cycle of violence.”
A new wave of violence linked to the general elections has hit several regions of CAR since mid-December, particularly in the western region of the country.
Between December 20 and 30, MSF teams have received and treated more than 50 war-wounded in need of surgical care, mostly in Bangui.
Militants opposed to the disqualification of ex-president, Francois Bozize, from the December 27 poll, are accused of violations.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that more than 55 000 people have fled recurrent violence.
– CAJ News