The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) assisted 17,461 individuals with NFI kits and 4,845 with WASH interventions; beneficiaries were mostly IDPs having fled armed group violence in Amada Gaza area (Mambere-Kadei, West), Alindao area (Basse-Kotto, Southeast), and Bakouma (Haut-Mbomou, southeast); in Alindao, the RRM also conducted its first distribution of WFP-provided high energy biscuits alongside NFI kits.
9,034 crisis-affected children, including 3,882 girls, were newly admitted in child-friendly spaces (CFS) to benefit from psychosocial, recreational and educational activities in Bamingui-Bangoran, Haut-Mbomou, Haute-Kotto, Ouaka, Basse-Kotto, Ouham and Ombella-Mpoko prefectures.
In Batangafo, 6,873 children including 2,912 girls along with 63 teachers (8 women) were back to school with UNICEF support.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The situation remained very volatile in January, with an increase in tensions on the ground ahead of the African Union-UN led peace talks between the Government and 14 armed groups, which eventually started in Khartoum (Soudan) on 24 January. Several attacks and waves of displacement linked to the peak of the transhumance season were also reported.
On 31 December and 1 January, the town of Bakouma (Haut-Mbomou, Southeast) was attacked and ransacked by an armed group, resulting in an unconfirmed number of casualties and causing the entire population of about 18,000 (including about 5,000 IDPs) to flee. The attackers also reportedly threw corpses into most of the town’s wells. About 10,000 people fled south to Bangassou, and the rest scattered in the bush and in some villages around town. The southeast has been heavily affected by the crisis and is among the least accessible areas for humanitarian actors, due to high insecurity and extremely poor roads.
Since December, a cycle of violence has emerged in Mambere-Kadeï prefecture (West), in an area usually relatively calm. Several transhumance-related attacks were reported, including in Zaoro-Sangou village (east of Carnot) where 17 people were killed. These attacks against civilians resulted in the displacement of 4,673 people from villages along the eastern axis of Carnot-Gadzi and Carnot-Baoro to Carnot. These attacks also revived intercommunal tensions between Christians and Muslims in the area. Smaller-scale attacks and incidents related to transhumance were also reported elsewhere, especially in Ouham and Nana Gribizi prefectures.
Fighting between an armed group and the peacekeeping force broke out again in Bambari, on 9 January shortly before the President was expected to visit the town (the visit was cancelled). Several administrative buildings were looted, at least 20 people were treated for injuries at the Bambari hospital, and pendular population movements were observed. Following this episode, the peacekeeping force attacked and destroyed the armed group’s headquarters’ outside of Bambari.