While talks are under way in Libreville, the situation remains difficult in Bangui and other towns in the aftermath of the recent fighting.
Delegates from the ICRC are working hard to meet the most pressing needs of people affected by the clashes. They are also reminding the parties to the conflict in the area of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
"In Sibut and Damara, inhabitants have fled their homes for fear of armed violence," said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in the Central African Republic. "These two towns are on the frontline of the conflict and that's where our teams have been working for the last two days. Most families have set up makeshift shelters in the bush, where they're at the mercy of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. We're especially concerned about the young children."
In areas where the ICRC is active, its delegates are maintaining dialogue with the parties to the conflict, to urge them to comply with international humanitarian law. Civilians may not be attacked; they and their property must be spared and protected.
"Over the last few days, we've been visiting people detained in Bangui in connection with the recent events," said Elise Woirhaye, ICRC protection coordinator in the Central African Republic. ICRC delegates visit places of detention to foster compliance with international laws governing the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention. All detainees must be treated humanely.
Since 4 January 2013, the ICRC has also:
- continued to supply 18,000 litres of water daily to around 1,000 displaced people in Ndélé, with the support of volunteers from the Central African Red Cross;
- distributed eight first-aid kits to the Sibut, Dékoa and Bouca branches of the Central African Red Cross, and to teams working in the villages between Kaga Bandoro and Mbrès;
- distributed 200 soaps and over 100 blankets to displaced families in Kaga Bandoro;
- put more than 120 people in touch with their loved ones, mostly in Kaga Bandoro and Ndélé.