9 August 2017

Central African Republic: Six Red Cross Workers Are Reported Killed

Photo: ICRC/Annibale Greco
Volunteers with the Central African Red Cross in collaboration with ICRC clean the camp for displaced people at Bangui airport, during a day dedicated to raising awareness about hygiene in the camp.

The Red Cross said that six volunteers were killed in an attack on a health clinic. A recent uptick in attacks in the country's southeast sparked renewed fears of conflict akin to 2013's civil war.

Six Red Cross volunteers were killed in an attack on a healthcare facility in the southeastern town of Gambo, about 375 miles (600 km) east of the capital, Bangui, the aid agency announced Wednesday.

Antoine Mbao-Bogo, president of the Red Cross in the Central African Republic (CAR), said on Wednesday that he was "appalled" by news of the killings.

The circumstances of the attack, which occurred last Thursday, remained unclear, according to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Restoring order in a town ravaged by war

It's also unclear if other people, such as medical staff and civilians, were also killed in the attack. Perpetrators have not been identified.

But the southeastern section of the Central African Republic (CAR) has seen a surge in militia-led violence this year, including attacks on peacekeepers and aid workers.

The attacks have renewed fears of widespread chaos that gripped the CAR at the height of its civil war in 2013.

The slain Red Cross volunteers were all from the CAR. They were participating in a crisis meeting in the Mbomou prefecture when the attack occurred.

It was the third such attack on Red Cross workers in the CAR this year. That includes a shooting in June of one worker in the diamond-mining town of Bangassou, about 50 miles east of Gambo.

Many humanitarian aid workers have been blocked from doing their work during the ongoing surge in largely sectarian violence in the CAR. Militants have even tried to kill wounded enemies in public health facilities.

bik/msh (Reuters, AP)

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