News / Africa

Insecurity Hampers Aid Deliveries In CAR

A woman from the Central African Republic holds her baby in a refugee camp set up by the UNHCR in Nangungue, eastern Cameroon, April 12, 2013.
A woman from the Central African Republic holds her baby in a refugee camp set up by the UNHCR in Nangungue, eastern Cameroon, April 12, 2013.
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says instability in the Central African Republic (CAR) is limiting access to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people and refugees in desperate need of assistance. The UNHCR says human rights violations are rampant and civilians live in constant fear.
 

The U.N. refugee agency calls the CAR one of the most dangerous places on Earth. It says three months after Seleka rebels ousted the government, the country remains gripped by insecurity and widespread lawlessness.
 

The UNHCR says it is extremely concerned about the situation of more than 200,000 internally displaced people and more than 20,000 refugees, mainly Congolese and Sudanese, who are unable to receive international assistance.
 

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says aid workers have had only limited access to parts of the capital, Bangui, as well as some places in the more remote central and northern parts of the country.
 

Over the past month, he says the UNHCR and other agencies have conducted assessment missions to Bangui and other areas generally off limits. He says the findings from colleagues are very troubling.
 

"At least 80 protection incidents have been reported in Bangui involving refugees, among them 10 deaths. There is looting. Refugees in camps and those in Bangui are in fear. Many are traumatized. Many have been the targets of attacks. In areas outside the city, it is more a situation where people effectively are living in the bush and they are coming to towns to get food - whatever they need during the daytime, but then are heading out to hide at night," said Edwards.
 

Edwards says staff members on these missions have received reports of gross violations of human rights. These include arbitrary arrest and illegal detention, torture, armed robbery, rape and abductions. He says armed groups have burnt down villages and houses in some areas.
 

He says the mission found schools have reopened in some areas, but remain closed in many others. He says people have limited access to health and basic services and mothers with newborn babies in many areas have no access to medical care.
 

"Violence against women, girls and boys has also reportedly increased. Humanitarian agencies, under the inter-agency response, have been giving assistance and counseling in some places. We are particularly concerned about the recent arrest of a former government counterpart of ours who worked in Bangui. We are currently seeking information about this person from the authorities, and assurances of his safety," he said.
 

Edwards says it is extremely difficult to work under these volatile conditions. Nonetheless, he says the UNHCR and its partners are coordinating efforts to assist refugees living in camps. He says they have been able to distribute food to some 11,000 refugees in several camps.
 

The UNHCR says people continue to flee insecurity in the CAR. It says the total number of refugees from CAR in the region now stands at over 220,000.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid