CAR remains unsafe for humanitarian workers


United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic

from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
CAR Bureau
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – SOME 57 incidents against humanitarian workers or their property have been recorded, and 17 health facilities attacked or looted, in the Central African Republic (CAR) since the beginning of the year.

The latest murder involves last Wednesday’s killing of a driver of a contractor serving the humanitarian community north of the country.

The vehicle was attacked on a highway.

Three civilians onboard including one non-governmental organisation (NGO) staff, a contractor and the driver were on their way back from a mission to set up tents for a health centre in Am-Dafock. The two passengers were released, while the driver was held and later killed.

Am-Dafock is home to more than 13 000 people, including Sudanese asylum seekers and returnees that had earlier fled CAR.

Mohamed Ag Ayoya, the humanitarian coordinator in the CAR, condemned the acts of violence that are threatening patients’ lives and impeding humanitarian access to people in need.

“These acts constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), which establishes the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers. Medical facilities and humanitarian workers must always be protected by all parties to the conflict,” the envoy said.

Regular attacks on humanitarian staff could in some cases force organisations to suspend activities to protect their teams in a context when more than 3,4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

Some 2,4 million are targeted by the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which aims to provide vital assistance to the most vulnerable.

According to World Health Organisation monitoring data, between January and May 2023, 17 attacks against health facilities were recorded in CAR, one medical staff was killed and ten health workers injured.

“I call on all stakeholders to put the interests of the CAR people above their differences,” Ayoya said.

A country of 5 million people, CAR remains one of the most challenging places for humanitarian workers.

In 2023, the number of incidents recorded per month continues to rise.

– CAJ News



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