CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Humanitarian partners have resumed assistance in Bria, in central Hautte-kotto Prefecture, and its surrounding axes since 8 March, after they had been suspended at the end of February due to an increased risk of clashes between armed groups and security forces. With 73,000 internally displaced persons, Bria has one of the largest concentrations of displaced people in the country.
One week after the explosions at the Nkuantoma military barracks, 107 deaths have been recorded and 119 people remain hospitalized, a majority of whom are children.
Initial assessments indicate that shelter and protection are the most significant challenges.
Several children have lost family members and remain unaccompanied. Efforts to locate other family members are ongoing. UNICEF’s rapid assessment estimates that approximately 150 families are currently staying in temporary shelters across Bata.
These families consist of 648 adults and 252 children (28%) under 15 years of age. Among the children, it is estimated that 99 (11%) are under five years old. These numbers exclude families who have self-evacuated to stay with relatives in Bata or other districts. Schools and religious residences are being used as temporary shelters. The government has also reported that ten schools were badly damaged in the blast..
On 11 March, unidentified gunmen attacked the Federal College of Forestry in Mando, central Kaduna state, abducting over 200 students and staff. Military personnel deployed to the area, leading to the rescue of 180 students and staff. About 30 students are still missing while those injured during the rescue operation are receiving treatment at a local hospital. It was the third major attack and mass abduction of students from schools since February 2021, with similar incidents reported in Niger state (Kagara college on 17 February) and Zamfara state (Jangebe college on 26 February), both located in north-west Nigeria where armed bandits have ramped up deadly attacks on civilians in recent months. The UN and several rights groups have condemned repeated attacks on schools and impacts on education in a country that already has over 10 million out-of-school children.
On 16 March, in the Banibangou locality, western Tillabéri region, four commercial vehicles were intercepted by unidentified armed men who fired shots at the passengers and looted the vehicles, killing 64 people. This is the latest in a series of deadly sporadic attacks that have already claimed the lives of dozens of civilians and displaced some 1,100 people in the departments of Ouallam, Torodi, and Tillabéri since 2 March, with many fleeing preventively due to persisting insecurity. The attacks are reportedly perpetrated by non-state armed groups operating along the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.