News / Africa

UNHCR: No Access to CAR Refugees

A picture released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders, MSF) shows refugees at the Kanuyaruchinya IDP camp, November 4, 2012.A picture released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders, MSF) shows refugees at the Kanuyaruchinya IDP camp, November 4, 2012.
x
A picture released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders, MSF) shows refugees at the Kanuyaruchinya IDP camp, November 4, 2012.
A picture released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders, MSF) shows refugees at the Kanuyaruchinya IDP camp, November 4, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is very concerned about its inability to gain access to tens of thousands of refugees and displaced civilians caught in the fighting in the Central African Republic.  The UNHCR says it is critical to provide humanitarian, potentially life-saving help to these people.

The U.N. refugee agency says it is seeking immediate and unconditional access to the tens of thousands of refugees and CAR civilians displaced by the recent fighting in the north and east of the country.  
 
It notes the Central African Republic is one of the poorest and most deprived nations in the world.  As such, it says it fears these homeless civilians face deteriorating, potentially life-threatening living conditions.
 
On Thursday, rebels who control one-third of the country agreed to a one-week ceasefire.
 
While the U.N. refugee agency welcomes this development, it regards it with caution.  The agency’s spokesman, Adrian Edwards, says the UNHCR fears many more people will be affected, including some 700,000 in Bangui, if full-scale fighting resumes.
 
“We have received reports of thousands of people being displaced in the north and east of the country since the start of the Seleka advance about a month ago.  About 800,000 people were believed to be living in the affected areas when the current crisis erupted," he said. "We are very concerned about the general welfare of displaced civilians, many of whom live under harsh conditions and in remote settlements, as well as conditions for refugees from countries including South Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”  
 
The UNHCR says the CAR hosts some 17,000 refugees and about 2,500 asylum-seekers.  Because of security concerns, international staff from the World Food Program (WFP) and other United Nations agencies were evacuated to neighboring Cameroon.  The agencies have suspended their operations in the CAR, which is proving to be a great hardship for the population.
 
Prior to the suspension, WFP had been feeding 300,000 people in the CAR.  Last Tuesday, the agency confirmed that hundreds of tons of food aid had been looted from its warehouses in three rebel-held cities.
 
UNHCR spokesman Edwards says his agency also recently received confirmation that its office in the Bambari camp, in the central part of the country, was looted.  This occurred on December 28 after the staff was evacuated.  
 
He says the UNHCR is worried about some 2,000 Sudanese refugees in the Bambari camp, which is located in an area under rebel control.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More