In 2013, the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were rocked by socio-political conflict. After the overthrowal of President Bozize in late March 2013, the coming to power and forceful resignation of Michel Djotodia, security remained uncertain in CAR, with cases of murder and robbery reported almost on a daily basis. This situation escalated into inter-communal clashes when a new militia group known as the Anti Balaka came into the picture in late December 2013. This led to a massive influx of people fleeing the civil unrest into Cameroon, DRC, Congo and Chad.
In DRC, fighting between government and armed groups caused the displacement of thousands of people to neighbouring countries. Cameroonian defence forces, on their part, were attacked in the East Region; border with (CAR), orchestrated by Seleka assailants on 16 November 2013. This attack left about seven casualties, according to Cameroon military sources. Instability in north eastern Nigeria also led to an influx of Nigerian refugees into the Far North Region of Cameroon, where UNHCR has been in charge of response interventions.
These events severely affected the implementation of planned and ongoing operations. The food security project in the CAR, which was supposed to continue until February 2013, stopped prematurely in December due to this civil unrest.
The socio-political situation was relatively calm in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe (STP) and Republic of Congo (RoC).
Unprecedented floods left close to 80,000 people homeless in northern Cameroon and 5,000 in Pointe Noire. A case of acute flaccid paralysis was reported in Malentuen, a locality in the West Region of Cameroon and a DREF aimed at responding to the situation through vaccination and awareness-raising was initiated, funded and response activities implemented.
Neighbourhoods in several subdivisions of Bangui, capital of the CAR, were also ravaged by local storms. The towns of Bimbo and Bouar experienced heavy rains accompanied by violent winds that caused extensive material damage and left several persons wounded. Various emergency operations were initiated and funded, in a bid to meet the needs of victims of these disasters.
IFRC’s Central Africa Regional Representation (CARREP) was mobilized in the course of 2013 to prepare core documents for the Malaria Round 8 Programme for CAR, funded by the Global Fund to fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), with the personal involvement of IFRC Regional Programmes Coordinator, Senior Regional Programmes Officer in charge of PMER, Regional Finance and Administration Delegate, and Regional HR Officer. A Status agreement was also signed between IFRC and the government of CAR. This Programme is already underway.