Central African Republic: Militia Increase Attacks On Aid Workers

HUMANITARIAN workers in the Central African Republic (CAR) are under increased attacks by militants in the volatile country.

The United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed 344 incidents affecting aid workers in the first nine months of 2021.

This is compared to 304 recorded during the same period in 2020.

For the month of September this year, 30 incidents were recorded.

An aid worker was killed on the 9th when a humanitarian vehicle struck an explosive device between Paoua and Bocaranga in the northwest.

Three other aid workers were slightly injured and traumatised.

The prefecture (state) of Ouham, also in the northwest, had the most incidents against aid workers (21 percent of attacks).

The southern Ouaka (13 percent) and the capital Bangui (11 percent) also had significant incidents in 2021.

Thefts, robberies, looting, threats and attacks represent 67 percent of incidents, or 229 out of 344.

Interference and restrictions represent the other 33 percent of violations.

"The civilian population continues to pay the price for the tensions and violence that continue in several parts of the country," an OCHA spokesperson said.

CAR, the landlocked country of more than 4,9 million people, has been tense since independence from France in 1960.

It degenerated into chaos in 2013 when rebels ousted the government of Francois Bozize.

This escalated into ceaseless conflicts between Muslim fighters and Christian militias, both controlling vast areas of the country.

Bozize's plan to contest for the presidency, only to be barred by the courts, last year also created a political and humanitarian crisis.

President Faustin-Archange Touadéra was re-elected in a poll preceded by the killing of three peacekeepers.

A total of 155 peacekeepers have been killed since the deployment of a UN mission in 2014.

- CAJ News

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