from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THOUSANDS of victims of the civil conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) have finally received food aid.
However, hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid are still stuck at the border with Cameroon.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sent an aid convoy from Cameroon to CAR with 135 tonnes of food.
It is enough to feed almost 10 000 people displaced by violence that followed elections held towards the end of December.
The convoy of ten trucks and three cars completed its 1 400-kilometre trip despite the dangers along the road between the border town of Garoua Boulaï and Bangui, the CAR capital.
This is the first convoy organised by the ICRC this year.
“It received immediate approval from all parties to the conflict to deliver humanitarian aid,” said Yves Van Loo, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in the CAR.
The convoy was not accompanied by an armed escort because of the Red Cross’ neutrality.
However, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that over 500 trucks carrying essential supplies sent by the UN and its partners – including food and medicines – are stuck at the border between Cameroon and CAR.
There are also 1 100 truckloads of commercial freight.
The situation began when fighting started on December 17, ten days before elections.
Rebel groups opposed to the holding of polls after former president, Francois Bozize, was barred from contesting, are running rampage.
Incumbent, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, retained the presidency.
– CAJ News