There has been a steep rise in landmine explosions in the northwest of the Central African Republic in the past year.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), between Jan. and Nov. 2021, there were 40 cases of landmine explosions resulting in the deaths of 23 civilians including three children, as well as causing harm to 29 other persons in Nana-Mambere, Mambere Kadei, Ouham-Pende, Lime-Pende, and Ouaka prefectures.
The latest such explosion occurred on Monday, Feb. 14, in Ngaoudaye locality where an improvised explosive device went off as a truck passed.
“The truck was carrying goods and fuel from Mbaimboum and was heading to Bocaranga when it hit a landmine in the village of Touga, situated eight kilometres to Ngaoundaye on the Ndim highway.
“The vehicle and its cargo were completely destroyed by the explosion,” said an eyewitness.
On Wednesday, Feb. 2, Gen. Sidiki Traore, Commander of the UN forces in the Central African Republic, (MINUSCA) announced during the weekly press briefing in Bangui that UN forces had resumed demining activities in the northwest and west of the country.
The UN official revealed that a number of successes had already been recorded on the Besson-Niem, Bouar-Niem, Bocaranga-Bozoum, and Niem-Yelewa highways, adding that another demining team had been dispatched to Berberati.
“The fight against explosive devices in the west of Bocaranga and Berberati is going to be intensified in the interest of all,” Gen. Traore said.
On Sept. 8, 2021 MINUSCA had announced the suspension of demining operations within the Nana-Mambere, Ouham-Pende, and Lim-Pende prefectures because of obstacles to the operations.
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