Emergency: Bangui

In Bangui the tension of the past few days shows no signs of diminishing: Muslims and Antibalaka continue to fight, and there are many deaths. Just last night there was an attack on PK5, a neighbourhood with a high concentration of Muslims.

The Antibalaka are barricading the city so they can control all the approach roads. The refugee and displaced persons camps are filling up again: people are afraid of what could happen, and search for protection in numbers. In this situation of total uncertainty, movements are kept to a minimum; we can see it at our Paediatric centre too – this morning there are only 30 patients, whereas on Mondays there are usually around 150.

Exactly one year on from the coup d’état and Michel Djotodia’s self-proclamation as president (the head of the Seleka subsequently resigned in January), the Central African Republic is still a country without peace and, as always, the first victims are the civilians: women, children and men killed or wounded by the war and its consequences – hardship, poverty, lack of food, difficulty in getting even the most basic treatment and services.

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