CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
GUNMEN RAID AID GROUPS’ COMPOUNDS
Armed men on 9 March raided the compounds of two international NGOs in the south-eastern Bangassou town where insecurity has heightened in recent weeks. A similar attempt on the base of another aid agency was thwarted by UN peacekeepers who have since reinforced patrols in the town.
An armed robbery on Médecins Sans Frontières’ base in Bangassou in November 2017 forced the NGO to suspend activities and relocate aid workers to the capital Bangui. Bangassou is largely under the control of various armed groups.
SUSPECTED MONKEYPOX CASES IN HAUTE-KOTTO
Two suspected cases of Monkeypox were registered on 2 March in Bria Town Hospital in the eastern Haute-Kotto prefecture. A third case was detected at an IDP site in Bria town. The three patients are being treated. Samples have been sent to the Institute Pasteur in Bangui for further analysis. Local humanitarian actors are planning to raise awareness. Monkeypox erupted in neighbouring Basse-Kotto prefecture in September 2016 and was declared over in January 2017.
NUMBER OF REFUGEES ON THE RISE
The number of refugees in Chad has increased from 412,000 in December 2017 to 440,000 in February 2018, mostly due to the influx of Central African Republic refugees into the south of the country. They include 327,000 Sudanese in the east, 101,000 Central Africans in the south and 9,500 Nigerians in the western Lac region. Chad is among the African countries hosting large refugee populations.
GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT
UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock and the Dutch Minister for aid and trade Sigrid Kaag on 13 March wrapped up a two-day mission during which they secured the Government’s commitment to, among other things, increase financial contributions to humanitarian action and reduce import duty on humanitarian supplies such as medicine and food. The visit came a month ahead of the first ever DRC humanitarian donor conference to be held on 13 April in Geneva.
STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED
On 8 March, the Government announced a three-month extension of the state of emergency in Diffa, Tillabery and Tahoua regions starting 18 March. Diffa has suffered regular attacks by Boko Haram elements and the state of emergency has been in place since February 2015. Tahoua and Tillabery regions have been infiltrated by armed groups from neighbouring Mali and the state of emergency has been imposed in seven areas of the two regions since March 2017.
CONCERNS OVER IED PROLIFERATION
The army on 10 March expressed worry over the proliferation of unexploded devices across many areas in the north-east and the challenges of detonating them. Explosions from IEDs buried on roads and paths and farmlands have killed and wounded many civilians and military personnel in Borno and Yobe states in recent months. At least seven civilians were killed in Dikwa locality in Borno on 6 March when they stepped on an IED on their way to fetch firewood. Humanitarian actors continue to call for comprehensive demining across affected communities to ensure the safety of civilians, particularly farmers who have mostly been affected.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.