Civilians injured and medical facilities damaged in Central African Republic

A doctor examines an African girl A doctor examines an African girl Photo by Zeljkosantrac on iStock

22 February 2021

Clashes in the southern Central African Republic (CAR) have injured several people and compromised the access to health facilities.

On 15 and 16 February, violent clashes took place in the CAR, injuring 36 people, including eight women and nine children aged between 17 months and 17 years. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also reported that a hospital was damaged as a result of the fighting. This represents a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law, according to which medical facilities cannot be targeted during conflicts, being them neutral and protected spaces. 

The town of Bambari, located in the prefecture of Ouaka, in the south of the Central African Republic, has for two months now been the scene of conflict between the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), a coalition of non-state armed groups, and the government forces supported by some international powers. The Elevage Centre de Santé, where MSF works with the Ministry of Health to provide basic healthcare to the conflict-affected community, was damaged during last week's fighting. Continuing violence in the country has undermined access to essential medical services, contributing to instability in a country which is witnessing a growing number of war-wounded, and more than 200,000 internally and externally displaced people, as pointed out by MSF.

MSF Deputy Head of Mission Marcella Kraay called on the parties to the conflict to respect health facilities by ensuring unhindered access to people in need of assistance. In light of the high level of insecurity in the country, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, stressed the need to consolidate the democratic transition already underway in the country and called for greater commitment from the national authorities to ensure effective progress towards peace.


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Author: Francesca Mencuccini; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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