Nineteen civilians, including three Central African MSF national staff members, were killed during an armed robbery in the grounds of MSF’s hospital in the northern town of Boguila, on 26 April 2014.
After the tragedy, MSF reduced its activities to essential services only. In October, armed men raided Boguila town again, twice, with shooting and fighting. The armed men entered the hospital by force looking for valuables, but hospital staff was able to escape unharmed. The insecurity caused by various armed groups is seriously affecting the population, who hide in the bush. The risks associated with delivering medical and humanitarian aid are still high.
Since April, Bambari town and prefecture have been affected by fighting, leading to large population displacement (over 30,000 people are in camps). Fighting erupts frequently in Bambari town and the surrounding area. Houses and villages have been looted and burned. Sectarian violence has led to many casualties and wounded. In a recent wave of violence in December, 60 houses were burned, 14 people were killed and 14 wounded by bullets and machetes.
Zemio had been spared by the violence that erupted in the rest of CAR, but a sudden cycle of sectarian violence started at the end of November. Shooting started in town and barricades were erected. The situation calmed down after a few days. The violence pushed people to temporarily leave their homes because of fear of retaliation.
Like the rest of the country, Ouham prefecture has witnessed periodic violence outbreaks through the year. MSF projects in Batangafo and Kabo, in northern CAR, have suffered repeated attacks that have severely interfered activities leading to temporary withdrawal of expatriates from both places. Clashes between armed forces and militias have brought repeatedly to civilians occupying the hospital in Batangafo and some violent episode included attacks against health structures and muslim patients.
Since July 2014, MSF has been treating and supporting victims of sexual violence at the General Hospital in Bangui.
In Bangui, the authorities have announced that they want to close Mpoko camp by February 2015 in order to allow the construction of a fence around the airport and to extend its parking. MSF will continue to provide support to the IDPs while continuing to adapt its services to the needs.
The insecurity caused by the upsurge of violence that occurred in Bangui in August and October made it extremely challenging for MSF’s teams to reach out to the wounded. Patients, victims of violence and the sick also had difficulty accessing health facilities and our teams.
The insecurity has also impacted MSF personnel and other aid workers. Over the past few months, they have been subjected to an increase in acts of violence of varying degrees.