Attacks on aid workers spike in C.African Republic

A UN humanitarian affairs body in the Central African Republic has condemned increasing attacks on civilians and humanitarian organizations in the northeastern part of the country.

In a statement published late on Saturday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it recorded 10 attacks over the past nine days in the northeastern town of Ndele.

“The situation on the ground is unbearable. The attacks against the population and the humanitarian community have to stop. Women and children are particularly exposed and bear the brunt of the protracted crisis,” Denise Brown, OCHA coordinator in the Central African Republic, was quoted as saying in the statement.

She called on parties to “comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, to respect and protect civilians and humanitarian workers as well as their assets.”

On April 29, violence erupted in Ndele, forcing over 2,000 people to flee their homes in search of refuge. Over 27 people were killed and at least 56 injured, according to the statement.

Brown underlined that people would only be able to return home and remain safe if the ongoing clashes ended. Inter-communal fighting, which erupted on March 10, 2020, continues in the region.

The clashes between the rival groups in recent months have raised concerns about a peace accord and its ability to end violence in the country.

Violence has wracked the country since Seleka rebels ousted then-President Francois Bozize in 2013. It has forced nearly half of the country’s population to migrate and become dependent on humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

Armed groups still control large swathes of the mineral-rich nation, but a peace deal signed a year ago between the government and 14 rebel groups brought a fragile peace into effect under the leadership of President Faustin Archange Touadera.