The Humanitarian Coordinator, Aurélien A. Agbénonci, and the entire humanitarian community in the Central African Republic (CAR) deeply condemn the attacks against humanitarian organizations and residences during latest outbreak of violence in Bangui and calls for free movement of aid workers to reach civilians in need.
Over the past three days, conditions for aid agencies in Bangui have deteriorated. Several offices and personnel residences of humanitarian organizations have been looted and their freedom of movement has been impeded, especially health workers working in hospitals. As a consequence, most of aid workers have been extracted until such a time when safe conditions are re-established to continue the relief assistance to thousands of civilians in need.
“I condemn all acts of violence and call on all parties to protect civilians and humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by the crisis. I deplore the tragic loss of life of more than 30 people and I recall all perpetrators of crimes against humanitarian will be held accountable,” said Mr. Agbénonci. “The work of non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies providing emergency relief to the population is based on the principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality. The safety and security of aid workers and their property is a condition for programmes to be carried out.”
The sudden eruption of violence in the capital of the Central African Republic has left more than 30 people dead and around 100 wounded. The attacks were sparked by the murder of a young Muslim man on 26 September in Bangui. More than 27,000 people have fled the areas with heightened tension to seek refuge mostly with host families and in displacement sites.
“Urgent access to the displaced population is needed, so I call on all parties to respect international humanitarian law. There are immediate needs for emergency shelter, healthcare and basic aid. Displaced people are reported to be in a state of shock and extreme fear. Many have been displaced repeatedly. Central to the work of any aid agency is that their national and international staff members are free to move, unimpeded, to reach civilians in need,” Mr. Agbénonci added.
Nineteen humanitarian workers have been killed since the start of the crisis in CAR. Humanitarian access continues to be hampered by various constraints in the country, particularly by violence against civilians and aid workers.