DETERIORATING HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
CENTRALITY OF PROTECTION
Sixty-five sectoral and multi-sectoral assessments conducted by humanitarian actors over the last six months (from September 2018 to February 2019) indicate a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country, particularly in the greater SouthEastern regions. In the last six months (violence has resumed in the sub-prefectures of Bria, Batangafo, Alindao, Bangassou and Amada Gaza. A resurgence of inter-communal tensions was observed in Bangassou (Mbomou), Ippy (Ouaka), Tagbara (Ouaka), Batangafo (Ouham) and Alindao (Ouaka). These attacks caused, in addition to forced displacement, the death and wounds of hundreds of innocent civilians. IDP sites in Alindao, Batangafo and Ippy were burned, leaving hundreds of people homeless and totally destitute.
Following the Khartoum dialogue which was held from 24 January to 2 February 2019, a peace agreement was signed between the Government and 14 armed groups on 6 February 2019. While the Peace Agreement appears to bear the promise of a brighter future for affected civilians, 2.9 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.
Civilians continue to pay the highest price of continued violence. According to the Protection Cluster, between October and December 2018 , 4,981 protection incidents were reported in the 9 prefectures out of the 16 where protection monitoring was conducted (Nana-Mambéré, Mambéré-Kadéi, l’Ouham-Pende, Nana-Gribizi, Ouham, Ouaka, Kémo, Haute-Kotto, plus the Bangui area), i.e. more than 1,600 incidents per month, above the 1,000 monthly average in the first nine months of 2018.
The 2P tool shows that the increasing trend of protection incidents is attributable to continued violence in the areas of Ippy (Ouaka) and Mbres (Nana-Gribizi), which have steadily ranked as high priority for protection throughout 2018, as well as the increase in the priority of areas such as Bria (Haute-Kotto), Kaga Bandoro (Nana-Gribizi), Alindao (Basse-Kotto), and Batangafo (Ouham), among others.
In addition to the difficult living conditions resulting from forced displacement, the presence of armed elements on sites continues to generate high protection risks for IDPs, including illegal taxation, GBV, arbitrary arrests, killings and recruitment.
According to the GBV sub-cluster, throughout 2018, 10,055 cases of GBV were reported; including 1,621 cases of rape, 348 cases of sexual assault, 3,131 cases of physical assault, 2,350 cases of denial of resources, 2,452 cases of emotional abuse and 153 cases of forced marriage. Out of the total cases, 786 conflict-related sexual violence incidents were reported, affecting 570 women, 11 men, 202 girls, and 3 boys. The vast majority of such incidents were perpetrated by armed groups (781), while the remaining 5 were perpetrated by the armed forces. With weakened institutions, the very limited availability of services, the intimidating position of perpetrators and the feeling of impunity, access to legal and judicial services remains problematic, with 23 per cent of the survivors benefitting from such services.
From September 2018 to January 2019, 4,118 people (86.6% adults and 13.4% children) were victims of GBV, 31% from which were IDPs. With 52% of female IDPs and 67% of children among IDPs, women, girls and boys remains the most vulnerable and at greatest risk of GBV, including SEA as well as early marriage and female genital mutilation. With new IDPs and the volatile security situation in several villages on the axes – such as connected to Bria, Zemio and Batangafo, among others – the GBV sub-cluster estimates that 12,500 people are at risk of sexual violence.
Children across the country continue to be exposed to protection risks, such as family separation, the recruitment and use of children by armed groups, GBV, exploitation and other harmful practices such as the accusation of witchcraft, female genital mutilation and the early marriage. Between October and December 2018, 91 grave violations against children were reported (in line with the monthly average of 2018), affecting 75 children, 63 per cent boys and 37 per cent girls. More specifically, 19 cases of killings were recorded, alongside 13 cases of sexual violence and 12 of recruitment and use of children in armed conflict. Such violations were overwhelmingly committed by armed groups.
At least six attacks affecting the health system have been recorded in the sub-prefectures of Alindao, Bakouma, Kaga Bandoro, Bangassou over the last six months. Medicines/drugs have been looted or vandalized. This situation reduced the capacities of health facilities to ensure medical care for the affected people (e.g. Bakouma). Breaks in stock of PEP kits are also a concern (e.g. in Kaga Bandoro, Zemio, etc.).
Insecurity remains a major challenge for the education of conflict-affected children. Since September 2018 to February 2019, 363 schools were reported as closed including 234 attacked or occupied. Since 2017, over 100 attacks against the education system have been reported. As an example, six schools have been looted and destroyed in Tagbara and Seko (Ouaka) on 21 March during armed clashes between armed groups; while five schools have been looted and burned in Batangafo (Ouham) on 30 and 31 October.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.