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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid