West and Central Africa: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (10 - 16 April 2018)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
TENSIONS HAMPER HUMANITARIAN MOVEMENTS
Humanitarian movements to and within several towns were disrupted following the 10 April crackdown by UN peacekeepers on armed vigilantes in the capital Bangui. The crackdown prompted sympathetic armed groups to urge retaliation against the UN mission. Armed groups also warned aid workers in some towns against venturing out. At least 145 people and eight peacekeepers were wounded and 31 others, including a peacekeeper, were killed in the skirmishes in Bangui’s PK5 neighbourhood.
DONORS PLEDGE $528 MILLION FOR RELIEF RESPONSE
Donors pledged US$528 million during the first-ever humanitarian donor conference for the DRC held on 13 April. The conference was organised by the European Union, the Netherlands and OCHA to raise funds to address the deteriorating humanitarian emergency in the country. $1.68 billion are required to assist some 13 million people in country – nearly twice as many as in 2017. The humanitarian situation has drastically worsened over the last year. A surge of violence in 2017 uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and significantly heightened humanitarian needs.
AID WORKERS HIT BY A SERIES OF ROBBERIES
Armed individuals on 11 April robbed a vehicle rented by an NGO in Tessit area of the northern Gao region. Another NGO vehicle was robbed on the same day in Timbuktu region. Two days earlier, a UN 4x4 vehicle was stolen near the common UN compound in Gao. In a separate incident, robbers made away with two vehicles belonging to an international aid group in Douentza, Mopti region. On 8 April, another vehicle belonging to an international NGO was stolen in Gao. No injuries were reported in the incidents which are now frequent.
HUMANITARIAN WORKER KIDNAPPED
Armed men on 11 April kidnapped an aid worker in Ayorou area in the western Tillaberi region near the border with Mali. He was seized by gunmen on motorcycles while on his way back from a field mission with colleagues. The incident prompted a 48-hour suspension of all humanitarian activities in Tillaberi. According to media reports, the aid worker – a German national – has likely been taken across the border to Mali. Niger’s western Tahoua and Tillaberi regions have been hit by several armed attacks that have forced more than 8,000 people to flee their homes. In October 2016, gunmen seized an American aid worker in Tahoua. His whereabouts and condition remain unknown
OVER 1,000 CHILDREN ABDUCTED SINCE 2013
More than a thousand children have been abducted by armed groups in north-east Nigeria since 2013, UNICEF reported on 13 April, calling for the release of kidnapped children and an end to attacks on schools. On 19 February, over 100 girls were abducted from their school in Dapchi area in Yobe State, but freed weeks later. UNICEF said that 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools destroyed over the past nine years in north-east Nigeria. Most of the schools have not reopened because of extensive damage or insecurity.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.