7 March 2014

Africa: Continuing Deep Concern for Civilians

press release

Photo: ICRC/Annibale Greco
Bangui Community Hospital. 17 February 2014. A young woman in therapy to recover mobility after being wounded in a grenade explosion.

The widespread absence of security, caused by the conflict, and rising crime are exacerbating an already disastrous situation for thousands of people. The ICRC and the Central African Red Cross Society are continuing to respond to the most urgent needs.

In certain parts of the Central African Republic - for example, in the west, around Kaga Bandoro, and in Bangui - people are still living in fear for their lives and property. The widespread absence of security, caused by the conflict, and rising crime are exacerbating an already disastrous situation for thousands of people. "Despite relative calm in Bangui, the atrocities are continuing," said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in the Central African Republic. "We are calling on the parties to the conflict to obey the basic rules of international humanitarian law so that civilians, and people who have stopped fighting, for example because they have been injured or captured, will be spared." ICRC staff are in contact with the parties to the conflict to stop abuses against civilians.

In Yaloke and Gaga, in the west of the country, the ICRC and the Central African Red Cross Society are working hard to restore people's access to clean drinking water, which has been seriously eroded by the recent intercommunal violence. "Wells are the only available source of water," said Mr Georgantas. "Over 60 water points have now been cleaned in Yaloke and Gaga. They're up and running again."

ICRC staff working in the west of the country have continued to take injured people to Bangui. In addition, they have distributed buckets, blankets and other essential supplies to the neediest.

In Bangui, tens of thousands of people are still displaced, crammed into makeshift camps which are sometimes dangerous owing to the continued presence of armed men. The arrival of the rainy season means that there will be a significant deterioration of already difficult living conditions in the camps. To make sure that information about hygiene and disease prevention reaches as many people as possible, broadcasts organized by Radio Ndéké Luka and the Central African Red Cross have been taking place on topics such as hand washing and the proper use of latrines. Drinking water is being distributed every day, and two trucks are being used for rubbish collection.

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Bangui Community Hospital. 17 February 2014. A young woman in therapy to recover mobility after being wounded in a grenade explosion.

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