Violence uproots more kids than ever in CAR


Central African Republic's child soldiers. File photo

from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR)
BANGUI, (CAJ News) –  WIDESPREAD violence in the run-up to and following general elections of last December has forced 168 000 children in the Central African Republic (CAR) to flee their homes.

In total, 370 000 children are now internally displaced across the country because of ongoing violence and insecurity.

This is the highest level of child displacement in the CAR since 2014.

Fran Equiza, the children’s rights advocate, warned of the mounting risks for children, including exposure to sexual and physical violence, recruitment to armed forces and groups, increasing rates of malnutrition and limited access to essential services.

“We are extremely concerned about the fate of the thousands of children who, after seeing their lives turned upside down by conflict and violence, may now experience the additional trauma of being forced to join and live among armed actors, to engage in combat, putting both themselves and the lives of others at extreme risk.”

At least 24 000 children under five across 14 of the CAR’s 35 health districts are at risk of severe acute malnutrition following the recent spike in violence across the country.

This year, at least 62 000 children under five are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a 25 percent increase from 2020.

The humanitarian community is seeking US$8,2 million to scale up its activities in support of children and women affected by violence, exploitation and abuse.

– CAJ News