Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says its team has opened a new health centre in Bambari in the Central African Republic after the destruction of the health post in Elevage camp by the national military during a conflict between the national military and armed groups.
“It is important to get this community basic amenities. These people have been affected by the conflict. It is essential to protect them and, in the long run, to find a safe place for them,” said the MSF (also known as Doctors Without Border) team in Bambari.
Eight thousand five hundred people in Elevage camp, Bambari, are currently left homeless after their refugee camp was razed by soldiers. Elevage camp was built after a crisis between 2013 and 2014.
The camp began to transform and it accommodated the 8,500 displaced persons from the towns of Bria, Kaga-Bandoro, Ippy, Boali, Kabo, and Bossangoa, who had fled the armed conflict.
Unfortunately, on Friday, June 4, 2021, a conflict broke out between the national military and non-state armed groups around the camp.
The next day, the national military entered the camp and forcefully chased all the residents before reportedly burning the camp.
“Nothing is left from Elevage camp after the national military arrived by 2pm on Saturday and ordered them to leave, gunshots in the air and people running for their lives. Locals from surrounding areas looted everything we have,” Mahmound, a former resident of the camp said.
“They took our goats and stole our mattresses. Not long after, the site was burnt down.”
The MSF Team said their small health post where they treated more than 200 children each week for malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and other diseases was also destroyed.
Residents from the Elevage camp have taken refuge in mosques, compounds, or within the community of Bambari, exposing them to more health risks from the rainy season.
“We denounce this act of destruction where displaced people who are suffering are denied homes and healthcare,” said Rhian Gastineau, MSF Head of Mission in CAR, adding, “Conditions here are poor.”
“We sleep on the ground, with no shelter, mat or mosquito net. There is no food, no latrines and not enough clean water,” said Hamida, one of the displaced persons.
Hamida, who lived with her 10 children in Elevage camp, says the new circumstances are very hard. “We have gone from bad to worse, we are scared and lost everything. My children have nothing to eat. My children can not go to school anymore without assistance.”
The MSF team said they are currently treating people against malaria and other health conditions.
Also, teams from other aid organisations are also assisting the displaced people in the mosque with relief materials, providing clean water and food.
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