Bangui, 1 May 2018 – The Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi, condemns in the strongest terms possible the new wave of violence that was witnessed in Bangui today.
Acts of utter cowardice led to the deaths of several civilians, including a catholic Father Albert Tougoumalé-Baba following the attack on the Fatima Church in the 6th district of Bangui, while presiding over a mass to mark the St Joseph Day.
“I am shocked by the death of Father Tougoumalé-Baba who was one of the defenders of the Boeing Pact of Non-Aggression,” said Najat Rochdi. This pact enabled the Muslim community in the surrounding neighborhoods to give their dead a befitting burial according to the precepts of Islam. The Humanitarian Coordinator also regrets that today’s violence has taken on a religious dimension ignoring the respect due to places of worship, including churches and mosques.
The Humanitarian Coordinator deplores the threats on health structures and their staff members.
Najat Rochdi reminds that it is contrary to International Humanitarian Law and calls on “the sons and daughters of the Central African Republic to put the future of the country above all other considerations”. She also requests them to respect the humanitarian character of the health structures in accordance with international law.
“Once again, it is the civilian population, especially women and children, who are paying the price for violence,” said Rochdi. The Humanitarian Coordinator calls on “Central African women to raise their voices against the manipulation of young people and to defend peace”.
Najat Rochdi wishes a speedy recovery to the wounded and offers her deepest condolences to the families and people of the Central African Republic for the losses of civilians. The humanitarian community reiterates its full readiness to provide assistance to the affected communities without distinction.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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