Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. in the Central African Republic, Dr. Michel Yao
Bangui, 20 June 2016
I am outraged by the attack on well-identified MSF vehicles by armed men on 17 June between Sibut and Grimari in Kemo Prefecture which killed the head of the convoy while other staff managed to escape into the bush. The vehicles were transporting medication and fuel from Bangui to Bangassou.
On 18 May, another attack near Bossangoa killed a driver employed by MSF.
I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.
These horrific acts show once again the high level of insecurity on the roads which makes humanitarian work – vital for the people of the Central African Republic - extremely precarious. I strongly condemn these recurrent attacks and remind all parties that violence against humanitarian workers and humanitarian assets is a violation of International Humanitarian Law and must stop. These attacks on humanitarian workers should be investigated and perpetrators held accountable.
Humanitarian workers are here to provide life-saving assistance and to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the crisis. That is our fundamental objective and our operations are guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality. These sad events prove once again the urgent need to ensure the protection of civilians and to respect and protect humanitarian workers, in compliance with International Humanitarian Law. The repeated attacks on humanitarian actors hinder aid delivery and prevent people in need of receiving life-saving assistance.
The humanitarian community in the Central African Republic, which I represent, remains fully committed to deliver vital assistance to all those in need.
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