Fresh vi­o­lence in CAR leads to more dis­placed

Iran Daily - - Society -

Ex­press­ing con­cern over con­tin­ued vi­o­lence in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic (CAR) and the re­sult­ing ‘mas­sive new lev­els’ of dis­place­ment, the United Na­tions refugee agency has un­der­scored the need to en­sure that re­lief work­ers are not made tar­gets of hos­til­i­ties and are given the hu­man­i­tar­ian se­cu­rity they need to carry out their mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to, An­drej Ma­he­cic, a spokesper­son for the Of­fice of the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said, “Since May, fresh and fierce clashes be­tween armed groups in the CAR have wrought in­creas­ing suf­fer­ing, deaths and de­struc­tion of prop­erty.

“Many newly dis­placed peo­ple speak of hav­ing wit­nessed killings, rob­beries, loot­ings and kid­nap­pings. Even af­ter reach­ing safe lo­ca­tions, they of­ten risk as­sault by armed groups, if they ven­ture out­side.”

The cri­sis, well into its fourth year, has left one in ev­ery two Cen­tral African in need of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance or pro­tec­tion to sur­vive and, if left to fes­ter, the vi­o­lence could negate the progress towards re­cov­ery in the coun­try.

The vi­o­lence has also driven over half a mil­lion peo­ple from CAR to seek refuge in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries and dis­placed an ad­di­tional 600,000 peo­ple within the coun­try.

The level of in­se­cu­rity has also pre­vented UNHCR and other re­lief or­ga­ni­za­tions to fully as­sess the full ex­tent of dam­age or dis­place­ment from the re­cent vi­o­lence.

“Some of our planned hu­man­i­tar­ian de­liv­er­ies by air have also been de­layed or blocked, due to the armed groups’ pres­ence [and] aid agen­cies, in­clud­ing UNHCR, are in­creas­ingly among those tar­geted by armed groups and have, in some in­stances, been com­pelled to tem­po­rary with­draw their per­son­nel,” said Ma­he­cic.

“De­spite the chal­lenges, we con­tinue to help those dis­placed in ar­eas like the Haute-kotto provin­cial cap­i­tal of Bria, which was at the cen­ter of much of the dis­place­ment in the east,” he added, not­ing that the UN agency’s re­sponse is strug­gling due to lack of re­sources.

Ear­lier this year, UNCHR is­sued an ap­peal for $209 mil­lion for its oper­a­tions within the coun­try as well as to as­sist refugees from the Cen­tral African Repub­lic in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. How­ever, only nine per­cent of the ap­peal has been funded thus far.

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