Central African Republic: CAR Worst Place for Humanitarian Workers

Mborgene camp in Eastern Cameroon (file photo).

Bangui — THE ungovernable Central African Republic has emerged among the most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers in the continent.

This past weekend, a rebel group killed a guard of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Batangafo town in the northwestern Ouham prefecture (province).

He was wounded while protecting the premises of the organisation during a violent break-in and depite the emergency aid, the guard died of his wounds.

"I am dismayed and shaken by this despicable killing, which demonstrates once again a flagrant disregard for human life and for the essential work of humanitarian workers in the CAR," said Najat Rochdi, CAR humanitarian coordinator.

In CAR, the United Nations mission recorded some 396 incidents directly affecting humanitarian personnel and assets in 2018. This is compared to 337 incidents documented in 2017.

In 2018, more than 17 premises or warehouses were looted and 30 humanitarian vehicles stolen while 25 humanitarian organisations temporarily suspended their activities.

"I condemn all attacks against humanitarian personnel. Civilians and humanitarian workers are not a target," Rochdi said.

The Central African country is under siege from rival Muslim radicals and Christian extremists after the overthrow of François Bozizé in 2013.

Militants control an estimated 80 percent of CAR, a landlocked country of 4,5 million people.

About 3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

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