11 June 2018

Central African Republic: Patients Evacuated As Rebels Take Over Hospital

Bangui — MORE than 30 patients have been evacuated after armed groups invaded a major hospital in the war torn Central African Republic .

Staff and patients at the regional hospital in the central Bambari town have been threatened during the intrusion by the radicals.

The latest invasion by the radicals has forced relatives to remove patients from the hospital due to previous raids whereby the armed groups have previously shot dead patients and physically assaulted health personnel.

The new incident constitutes an additional challenge in Bambari, particularly for medical assistance.

The looting of nine humanitarian organizations as well as the National Refugee Commission (CNR) during the month of May, has significantly reduced humanitarian activities in the city.

Najat Rochdi, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the CAR, condemned the intrusion of armed groups as well as threats against nurses and patients.

"These acts constitute an outrageous violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), which establishes the protection of civilian hospitals," she said.

Rocdi held the armed groups directly responsible for the intrusion for any medical complications and life-threatening conditions of patients.

"I call upon the perpetrators of these acts to put the interest of the population above their differences," she added.

Chaos has gripped the Central African country after intense clashes between and within Christian extremists and Muslim radicals.

The rebels control vast regions of the country of some 5 million people.

Clashes emanate from a violent overthrow of the then-President Francois Bozize in 2013.

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra's government, in power since 2016, has battled to gain control.

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