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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid