Médecins Sans Frontières Says Crisis In Central African Republic Worsening

According to Médecins Sans Frontières over 800,000 people have been displaced in the Central African Republic with many fleeing to neighbouring states. The violence that is sweeping through the country continues to escalate and it is estimated that nearly 20 per cent of the population has been displaced. Half of the people that have been forced to flee (400,000) are in Bangui. About 100,000 have fled to neighbouring countries such as Chad, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.

Complex Situation

There is a complex situation occurring on the ground with violence taking place between different communities as well as looting and banditry. The conflict is mainly between the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka.  Recently members of the former community withdrew from towns in the Northwest and Bangui which was followed by reprisals on the mainly Muslim communities.

MSF has witnessed much of the Muslim population fleeing en mass from various towns in the North. In some towns the entire Muslim population has fled. In some towns such a Bouar the local Muslim population has been prevented from leaving and surrounded by anti-Balaka forces.

Whilst the Muslim minority has been targeted the Christian community has not been spared either. Hundreds of thousands of people are seeking refuge and living in appalling conditions because they are simply too afraid to return home.

Insecurity Level Intense

Médecins Sans Frontières teams say the level of insecurity is making it extremely difficult to provide humanitarian aid and assess some areas where violence is intense. There have been some cases where patients have had to be evacuated from MSF hospitals for their own safety. In the Northwest of the country MSF has not been able to refer Muslim patients by ambulance because they are being targeted. In response MSF has sought to avoid using roads and is referring by plane.

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