News / Africa

Report: CAR Refugees Arrive in Cameroon Near Death

FILE - Women and children refugees cheers the motorcade carrying Central African Republic's interim President Catherine Samba-Panza during her visit to refugee camps in Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 1, 2014.
FILE - Women and children refugees cheers the motorcade carrying Central African Republic's interim President Catherine Samba-Panza during her visit to refugee camps in Bangui, Central African Republic, Feb. 1, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
— United Nations aid agencies are expressing alarm at the health condition of thousands of refugees arriving in Cameroon from the Central African Republic, describing some as close to death.

U.N. aid agencies say growing numbers of refugees are arriving acutely malnourished and ill, often in a desperate state of health after covertly traversing the bush for weeks before reaching the border.

The agencies report the death rate among the refugee children has been very high, with dehydration, hypothermia and severe anemia listed as the primary causes of death.

World Food Program spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs says about 80 percent of women and children are in need of therapeutic feeding to survive.

“We are concerned because it is also the start of the rainy season and we anticipate a deterioration of the living condition in the camps, with the risk of diseases," Byrs  said.

Byrs says WFP already has distributed food to over 42,000 refugees in camps and border areas, adding that the growing refugee population is scattered in many locations, putting a big strain on the agency’s resources.

The mainly Muslim C.A.R. refugees have been fleeing violence and revenge attacks by the largely Christian anti-Balaka militants since mid-December.  

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards tells VOA he does not know whether the refugees are being actively pursued by the anti-Balaka, but that the refugees are clearly fleeing in panic.

“The journey that people are making from C.A.R. is a journey of intimidation, of starvation, of death," Edwards said. "Many of the people arriving in Cameroon and other countries, in addition to being severely malnourished ... are severely wounded.”

Edwards says the UNHCR is moving refugees away from the border to six locations where they can be protected from possible conflict. The decision to relocate the people follows reports of regional infiltration of anti-Balaka fighters.

The U.N. refugee agency says more than 2,000 refugees cross into Cameroon every week, far less than the recent peak of more than 10,000 who entered in the last week of March.

Edwards attributes to decrease to activity by the anti-Balaka militia, who he says have blocked main roads leading to Cameroon.

Newly arriving refugees are telling aid workers many of family members still trapped in the bush, unable to escape the violence and mayhem.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bill from: bailey
June 05, 2014 6:01 AM
Let nature take its course!


by: salome w peter from: kenya,kitui
May 23, 2014 4:04 PM
Its a pity that innocent peopple are suffering that much.When the bulls are fighting,its the grass that suffer,can the nation hear the cry of these peopple,rescue them from starvation and have them sheltered.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
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.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid