Central African Republic: New displacement due to ongoing conflict and banditry

Originally published
Internal armed conflict between government forces and various armed groups in northern areas of the Central African Republic (CAR) caused the internal displacement of over 200,000 people by 2007. Following peace agreements, their number fell to around 108,000 by February 2009, but since then clashes between the army and a splinter rebel group, and attacks against civilians by criminal gangs, have caused new displacement. As of October 2009, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) was estimated at over 162,000, including over 73,000 people who were trying to return to their homes but had not yet found durable solutions for return.

IDPs in CAR have suffered from a range of human rights abuses, including killings, the looting and burning of villages, destruction of fields, loss of livelihoods, sexual violence, and the abduction and recruitment of children. Members of all armed groups have perpetrated these crimes. Each wave of IDPs has been forced to take shelter in fields and forests without access to basic services, before seeking support from impoverished host communities when it has been safe to do so. As of December 2009, their living conditions are very different from those of IDPs in neighbouring countries; there is only one IDP camp in CAR, and most rely almost entirely on host communities in remote rural towns.

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