Central African Republic: MSF teams ramp up support as violence escalates

News and Press Release
Originally published
An MSF staff member transports medicines and water purification materials to the Bondeko Health Centre in Ndu. Northern Democratic Republic of Congo. January 2021. © Marco Doneda/MSF

The security and humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly in Central African Republic, warns teams from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), as clashes escalate between coalition armed groups and government forces supported by foreign troops.

Violence in Bangui

After numerous offensives in recent weeks across the country, fighting took place on the outskirts of the capital, Bangui, on 13 January. MSF teams in Bangui treated 12 people for violence-related injuries.

Beyond the direct victims of the current violence, people across the country find themselves with reduced access to essential medical services as a result of the growing insecurity. On 13 January, just 14 pregnant women arrived at Bangui’s Castor maternity hospital, where MSF teams provide emergency obstetric care, compared to a daily average of more than 30.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes by the latest cycle of violence, which started one month ago, linked to the recent elections. Many are living in very precarious conditions, both within Central African Republic and in neighbouring countries.

10,000 flee after Bangassou offensive

In the southeast of the country, more than 10,000 people fled Bangassou during an offensive on the city on 3 January and crossed the Mbomou River to find refuge in the village of Ndu, Democratic Republic of Congo. MSF teams, who have been supporting mother and child healthcare in the local health centre in Ndu since 2017, have been responding to the needs of the displaced people.