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2.8M People Needing Humanitarian Aid As War Ravages CAR

About 2.8 million citizens of the Central African Republic are currently in need of humanitarian assistance as the war continues to ravage the country, HumAngle can report.

Humanitarian operations in several regions of the country have almost completely ground to a halt following increasing insecurity in the country as a result of the Dec. 27, 2020, legislative and presidential election troubles.

Organisations rendering assistance to the people are being forced to withdraw their services despite the increasing number of people needing humanitarian aid.

“Like most other humanitarian organisations, we have suspended our intervention in large areas of the country, notably in the localities of Nana Gribizi, Basse-Kotto and Mabere Kadei, where more than 120,000 displaced persons depend on humanitarian aid to survive,” said David Manan, Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in the Central African Republic Jan.13.

“We are very worried about the consequences for the civilians who are in need of aid, but it is simply very dangerous for us to continue to operate for the moment,” Manan added.

The continued attacks against humanitarian workers have forced several international organisations to close their offices on the ground and to move their personnel to the capital Bangui.

There have been 41 cases of attacks against humanitarian personnel since December 15, 2020, including the murder of a humanitarian worker and the wounding of four others. There were also 35 attacks on field bases.

This insecurity linked to fighting between armed groups have been endangering the lives of civilians and humanitarian workers and Manan said has obliged the Norwegian Refugee Council to temporarily interrupt its operations until when it would be possible to resume operations in total security.

“Curtailing our access within the country cuts the lifeline to more than half of the population who depend on humanitarian aid to survive. Dialogue and interaction between civilian and the military in the Central African Republic are necessary to avoid the incidents on the ground and preserve humanitarian space,” he stated. 

Hostilities intensified in the country during the days preceding and following the contested elections of Dec. 27, 2020. 

Since last Wednesday, Jan.13, 2021, armed groups have been launching attacks within the periphery of the capital Bangui.

A total of 60,000 persons have been displaced within the interior of the country and 30,000 have found refuge in neighbouring countries.

This number goes to add to the 600,000 internally displaced persons and 600,000 others already living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

The troubles have already occasioned spectacular rises in the prices of basic commodities in various localities putting in peril the means of subsistence of the populations and their capacity to feed their families.

The Norwegian Refugee Council called on the warring parties in the conflict to ensure humanitarian access and protect civilians as well as guarantee the free movement of essential goods.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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