6 May 2017

Central African Republic: Aid Agencies Halt Work in CAR After Attacks On Staff

Four international aid agencies have temporarily suspended their operations in northern Central African Republic due to attacks on aid workers by armed groups, the United Nations said.

In the country's Ouham region, aid workers have been attacked on 16 occasions since March, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday.

"It is one of the most dangerous and difficult countries for humanitarian work, particularly in the northern prefecture of Ouham," OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke said, adding that there had been a recent concentration of attacks against aid workers.

"This temporary withdrawal will certainly have an impact on many people who depend on aid," he told a news briefing in Geneva.

Solidarités International, Intersos, Danish Church Aid, and Person in Need Relief Mission will withdraw their staff to the capital, Bangui, while other aid groups have decided to scale back to focus only on life-saving operations, according to OCHA.

Central African Republic has been plagued by conflict since March 2013, when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering reprisals by Christian "anti-balaka" militias.

The Seleka and other groups have since splintered, prompting further violence despite the election in March 2016 of President Faustin-Archange Touadera, which raised hopes of reconciliation.

Around 425,000 people have been uprooted by the fighting within the Central African Republic, some 465,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, and more than 2.2 million, nearly half the population, need humanitarian aid, according to OCHA.

The lives of more than one million children are under threat amid a lack of funding, said the UN children's fund (UNICEF).

More than 40 percent of children are suffering from chronic malnutrition, one in seven will die before they turn five, and a third are out of school, according to figures from UNICEF.

The country's humanitarian response plan for 2017 has only been 12 percent funded - $47m of a requested $400m - to date, the UN's Financial Tracking Service (FTS) shows.

"We cannot allow the Central African Republic to become a forgotten crisis," Christine Muhigana, UNICEF representative in the Central African Republic, said in a statement.

Central African Republic

Bemba in Belgium After Release From ICC Detention

Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Congolese opposition leader freed from International Criminal Court (ICC) detention last Friday,… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Al Jazeera. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.