Central African Republic (CAR) Situation Report No. 32 (as of 1 July 2014)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Jul 2014

Highlights

• Following the outbreak of violence in Bambari (Ouaka Province) on 23 June, the situation remains tense. At least 21,374 people (3,617 households) are now sheltering in IDP sites in the town of Bambari after several days of inter-community violence.

• The latest figures show 110,000 IDPs in Bangui, down 1.3 per cent compared to the previous week.

• The Famine Early Warning System Network anticipates crop production for the 2014/15 cycle to be below average.

Situation Overview

Following the outbreak of violence in Bambari (Ouaka Province) on 23 June, the situation remains tense. At least 21,374 people (3,617 households) are now sheltering at IDP sites in the town of Bambari after several days of inter-community violence. There are about 9,646 IDPs at the St Joseph site, 1,886 at site ‘M’ (close to the MISCA base), 3,019 at site ‘S’ (close to the Sangaris base) and 6,823 at the Notre Dame de Victoire site. The anti-balaka presence in the western part of the town was reinforced last week. French Sangaris forces are monitoring the Ouaka bridge that divides the western part of the town from the centre/east. A group of 10 state police officers and 60 gendarmes arrived in Bambari on 25 June, reportedly unarmed, in an attempt to re-establish peace.

According to ICRC, the Bambari hospital was overwhelmed within a few hours of the outbreak of violence. With support from the CAR Red Cross Society, ICRC helped more than 30 people, mostly civilians, some with severe injuries, to the hospital. ICRC delivered 200 litres of fuel so that the operating room and X-ray room would be able to function. In addition, medicines and sterile wound-dressing materials were brought in from Bangui to support patient care. Bodies of the dead were taken to the hospital mortuary and later handed over to their families.

An initial multi-sectoral Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) assessment carried out by ACTED from 28 to 30 June at several IDP sites in Bambari revealed the limited number of shelters. Ninety-four per cent of adults surveyed stated that they ate only one meal per day. IDPs also require assistance in non-food items and latrines. With violence decreasing in the town, movement is now possible. Many shops have reopened, but the presence of armed groups means tension remains high. All schools remain closed since the start of this recent crisis. Hospital sources in Bambari report 62 people killed and 37 injured since the violence started on 23 June.

In Bangui, the Commission for the Monitoring of the Population (CMP) reports a new estimate of 110,000 IDPs in Bangui, down 1.3 per cent from 111,500 the previous week. The fall in numbers continues a downward trend since a recent spike of 132,000 immediately following the 28 May attack on the Fatima IDP site. The M’Poko airport site continues to hold the largest number of IDPs in the city (38,400), pending the opening of new sites.

The security situation remains tense in the northern town of Batangafo (Ouham Province) since 23 June, with residents dreading the arrival of armed groups, leading to population movements. According to the CAR Red Crossin Batangafo, the number of IDPs in the town has risen to 11,875 following an attack on the nearby village of Mabongo, which reportedly killed five.

A multi-sectoral RRM assessment carried out by IRC in June at villages between Bouar (Nana Mambere Province) and Bocaranga (Ouham Pende Province) revealed that, although the majority of the population has returned, almost all the Muslims have fled the zone. In the ten villages surveyed, 183 homes had been destroyed. Eighty per cent of households live in homes in a poor state of repair. One-third of children under five have had diarrhoea in the last two weeks. The majority of homes and food stocks have been pillaged. The evaluators recommend an NFI distribution, food rations for returnees and the vulnerable, water point refurbishment, and a protection evaluation.

Refugee figures in CAR after completion of the first phase of verification in Bangui stand at 7,827: a total of 1,771 people were verified and registered so far in Bangui, mostly from DRC (1,367 people) and Rwanda (182). This includes 1,394 urban refugees (403 households) and 307 asylum seekers (87 households). A second phase of the exercise will target refugees confined in areas surrounding the capital. This exercise enables UNHCR to identify durable solutions and better target assistance, taking into consideration the impact of the crisis on refugees.

The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has confirmed the results of the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted by the Food Security Cluster in April. FEWSNET anticipates crop production for the 2014/15 cycle will be below average. Rainfall between April and June was lower than normal, including in the main agricultural areas of Ouham, Ouham Pendé and north of Bangui. The food security crisis is therefore expected to continue in most of the country until the harvest in July in the south and October in the north.

Despite recent tension between African forces and anti-balaka elements in Boda (Lobaye Province), humanitarian aid has recently picked up. ‘Mediation and social cohesion’ training has started, targeting the local committee of elders; it will soon be offered to delegates from anti-balaka and Muslim communities. One thousand school kits are being distributed. A nutritional therapy unit has been opened at the district hospital, with 13 malnourished children already being supported. A health post has been opened. NFI kits have been distributed to 500 households in the enclave and 500 on the Cotonaf site, with another phase of distribution planned in the coming weeks. Sixteen cases of sexual and gender-based violence have been registered and are being supported.

A joint multi-sectoral assessment mission carried out by UNICEF, UNHCR and OCHA to Berberati, Nassolé and Carnot (Mambere Kadei Province) found that people fleeing towards Cameroon lack any access to aid. Formal security forces are absent from the area. Berberati is without water supplies since the beginning of the year.

Schools in Kabo (Ouham Province) have restarted thanks to a DRC project. Four of the twelve schools are already functioning. Nevertheless, almost all regular teachers are absent. Children from families who moved from Bangui have not yet been integrated because of a lack of infrastructure. The biggest school in the district is occupied by MISCA forces. In Moyen Sido, no school is open. Children in the area have lost nearly three years of schooling because of successive crises.

On 26 June, IOM completed the registration of 2,200 ex-Seleka elements in the three cantonment sites of Bangui. About 21 per cent are females and about 180 are children and youth below 18 years old. The plan to assist their relocation and reinsertion is being prepared by IOM, MINUSCA, military forces and the Ministry of Defense.

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