Sunday, October 30, 2016

Humanitarian workers suspend operations in Central African Republic amid violence

Renewed fighting in the Central African Republic has forced humanitarian workers to suspend their relief work in the northern part of the country, as the violence there has made it too dangerous for humanitarian agencies to serve people in the area. The country has been in a near-constant state of instability and violence since its government was overthrown in 2003 by Seleka, a Muslim armed rebel group. A civil war broke out between Seleka and a Christian vigilante group called anti-Balaka. Each government in the CAR since 2003 has held very little authority over the country, leaving its starving, war-torn civilians with no higher authority to turn to in order to receive vital survival assistance including food, water, and medical care. A United Nations peacekeeping agency, MINUSCA, as well as the French military, are currently serving in the CAR to help reinforce stability. However, many civilians have accused both the UN peacekeepers and the French military of sexual abuse to civilians, particularly to minors. As a result of the violence and the accusations, the French Defense Minister is expected to announce an upcoming end to French military intervention in the CAR. The election of President Faustin Touadera in February has eased rebel group violence in the country over the past eight months. However, attacks have severely spiked in the last four weeks throughout the CAR, with 65 people killed in that timespan in the western, central, and eastern parts of the country. The town of Kaga Bandero was brutally attacked this month, with 40 civilian deaths in that city alone.

Justin Wysocke

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