Bangui, 25 January 2017 – The Acting Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Dr Michel Yao, expresses his concern in view of the tensions rising again in the Ouaka Prefecture, raising fears of an explosion of violence between rival armed groups in and around Bambari (385 km from the capital city Bangui) and its potential repercussions on the protection of civilians.
“With a population of 42,000 inhabitants and more than 26,000 displaced people, an open conflict in Bambari would be devastating to the civilian population,” said Dr. Yao. The population in this area has already suffered the consequences of several waves of violence by armed groups. “The likelihood of such a conflict suggests a dangerous increased in the fragility of the displaced population whose vulnerability remains a source of concern in several aspects,” expressed the Humanitarian Coordinator.
In this context, Michel Yao calls on all armed groups and non-state actors involved to not lose sight of the impact of a violent confrontation on the already sensitive situation of the civilian population. He urged them not to jeopardize the achievements of the last two years, in terms of reconciliation and social cohesion, but also those recorded towards the improvement of the humanitarian situation.
Dr Yao encourages and supports all efforts from MINUSCA, the international community and the Central African authorities to avoid clashes that could threaten the protection of the civilian population.
Since the conflict started in Bria on 21 September 2016, there is a total of over 18,000 newly displaced persons in the Ouaka Prefecture. In Bambari town, there are 300 newly displaced persons from the Bambari-Ippy-Bria axis. All these people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. “I call on all parties to the conflict to ensure the unimpeded humanitarian access to the vulnerable groups of people by the humanitarians and vice versa” said Dr. Yao.