JUBA, South Sudan, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — As part of our celebrations of United Nations Day this year, UNMISS peacekeepers will help residents of the Central Equatorial State community of Kapuri with their on-going cons…
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The fifth Annual Retreat of Special Envoys, Representatives and Mediators on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, held in Arusha, concluded with renewed commitment by participants to ‘silence the guns’ on the continent by 2020. During the Retreat, participants reflected on various experiences, drawing lessons in order to strengthen the Continent’s efforts towards this goal.
In their Declaration at the end of the Retreat, participants vowed to tackle increasing threats posed by emerging transnational crimes such as terrorism and violent extremism, drug trafficking, piracy, illicit arms proliferation, human trafficking and smuggling as well as money laundering.
The retreat, which was opened by H.E. Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania and Amb. Smaïl Chergui, AU Peace and Security Commissioner brought together more than one hundred and thirty participants, including former African leaders, representatives of the AU Commission, as well as its Special Envoys and Representatives. It also included the Chair of the Peace and Security Council for the Month of October, Ethiopia; members of the Panel of the Wise, as well as Friends of the Panel of the wise, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs) for conflict prevention, management and resolution, the United Nations, League of Arab States as well as several scholars and international partners.
Making his closing remarks, at the culmination of the three days of deliberation, Amb. Smaïl Chergui stated, “The frank and open discussions over the last three days, will no doubt go a long way towards elaborating a concrete roadmap towards silencing the guns by 2020.”Amb. Chergui, thanked H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete and the Government of Tanzania for its warm hospitality and for hosting the fifth edition of the Annual Retreat, adding that this was testimony to Tanzania’s continued commitment to shaping the continent’s peace, prosperity and integration agenda, a clear extension of its contribution during the early years of Africa’s liberation struggle.
Building on the momentum of the Durban Retreat of April 2014 and the Abidjan Retreat of October 2013, the Arusha retreat succeeded in framing practical aspects of the implementation of Agenda 2063, Africa’s roadmap for the next 50 years, in particular critical aspects relating to the promotion of peace, security and stability on the Continent.
The meeting reviewed a wide range of issues including the state of Africa in 2014, and the causes of conflicts and instability, the triggers and facilitators of violence and the impact of global developments on Africa among the climate change.
The Retreat was preceded by a meeting of AU Special Envoys, Representatives and Heads of AU Missions and Liaison Offices on Monday 20 October, 2014. The meeting took place on the cusp of the outbreak and spread of the Ebola Virus Disease as well as the AUC Chairperson’s visit to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak. As such, participants welcomed the concerted contributions by Member States in true African solidarity as well as the response measures undertaken by the Executive Council and the PSC to tackle Ebola.
The Retreat also paid homage to Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General of the OAU, and to Mr. Hashim Mbita, former Chairperson of the Liberation Committee, for their estimable contribution to Pan-Africanism and the liberation of the Continent from colonialism and conflict. The inaugural ‘Son of Africa’ award, which was presented to them by Amb. Chergui on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during a gala dinner hosted in their honour, will continue to be presented on a regular basis to eminent Africans who have served the Continent with great distinction.
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM and Tunisia’s National Observatory for Youth (ONJ) will today (24/10) open a new Swiss-funded Migration Information Center for young people in Tunis.
The centre, which is backed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will provide information and promote safe and legal migration options among Tunisian youth.
Two counsellors trained as part of an IOM project: Solidarity with the Children of Maghreb and Mashreq (SALEMM), will advise young people on opportunities abroad including study, internships, volunteering and employment.
The centre will use information materials and counselling to promote legal migration and deter vulnerable young people from considering irregular migration options and fraudulent jobs offered by human smugglers and traffickers.
ONJ counsellors will hold weekly information sessions on Friday afternoons. The first session, scheduled today (24/10) will address: “Travelling and legal migration opportunities to Switzerland” and will be supported by Swiss consular staff.
The centre will complement the work of three Migration Resource Centres established in the cities of Tunis, Kef and Sfax in 2013. The IOM-funded centres were set up in partnership with Tunisia’s National Agency for Employment and Independent Work (ANETI) and the Office for Tunisians Abroad (OTE).
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Commission of the African Union (AU), in partnership with United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) and the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS), are convening an Explosiv…
PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The start of the trial of 83 people, including Simone Gbagbo who stands accused of attempting to undermine the security of the State, is an important milestone in the judicial process related to the Ivory Coast’s post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011. However, our organisations consider this to be only the beginning of the process, as the most serious crimes are still under investigation by prosecutors. When these proceed to trial, it is the alleged perpetrators of crimes from all parties who should finally face justice.
“The Ivorian justice system chose to prosecute the crimes committed during the post-electoral crisis in several stages. Today, it is not the serious violations of human rights that will be prosecuted in Court, but only charges related to the security of the State. We must commend this progress, but the victims – who still carry their wounds – impatiently await the commencement of trials for more serious crimes. Thus, this is not the definitive trial of the crisis which begins today, but rather a first trial of the crisis “ stated Yacouba Doumbia, MIDH President.
Most of the 83 people referred to the Criminal Court of Abidjan, by an ordinance of the Indictment Chamber (10 July 2013), will face multiple charges, including threatening national security, attacking or conspiring against the authority of the State, creation of armed bands, directing or participating in an insurrectionist movement, and disturbing public order.
“ In this first trial, the only “victims” are the State and public order. Certainly, this is a major step towards justice, but we must not forget that the bereaved families, the victims of sexual crimes and those who lost so much between December 2010 and April 2011 – that these people are still waiting for investigations to move forward and satisfy their demands for truth, justice and reparation. Moreover, crimes were committed by both sides, and victims will not cease in their demands to see both sides face justice. “ declared Patrick Baudoin, FIDH Honorary President.
Cases involving serious human rights violations are still being investigated by the Special Investigation and Examination Unit (CSEI). A second trial will have to be organized by the Ivorian justice system, in which some of the accused in the current trial who are also under investigation by the CSEI, might be referred to the Court a second time.
“ We will follow and observe this trial in its entirety because it is an important challenge for the Ivorian justice system. It is the first time that a Criminal Court will have to try so many accused in a single case. It is imperative that the Court rises to the challenge of providing a fair trial that respects the rights of the defendants, otherwise ongoing investigations into other crimes will be discredited. “ declared Drissa Traoré, FIDH Vice-President.
FIDH, LIDHO and MIDH have filed a civil action in the “violent crimes” case. Our organisations assist a hundred victims before Ivorian justice, and will have a team of legal observers present for the duration of the trial.
“ Neither political nor electoral considerations have any place in this judicial process. Over the past several months, we have denounced the circumstances in which some of the accused were released on bail by a decision of the Executive. To succeed, this trial will have to uphold only the Law and its proceedings, not political considerations that do not belong in Court “ declared Pierre Adjoumani Kouame, LIDHO President.
Our organizations recall that an international arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Simone Gbagbo on the 22nd of November 2012, as an indirect co-perpetrator for four counts of crimes against humanity – murder, rape and other sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts – allegedly committed during the post-electoral violence between the 16th of December 2010 and the 12th of April 2011. According to the principle of complementarity of jurisdiction between the ICC and the national courts, national authorities will either have to try Simone Gbagbo for the above mentioned crimes, or cooperate with the ICC and transfer her to the Court in The Hague.
WASHINGTON, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Statement
Secretary of State
October 23, 2014
Zambia National Day
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Zambia on the 50th anniversary of your independence on October 24.
Fifty years ago, when your country was born, thousands of Zambians took to the streets shouting kwatcha – the dawn. Today, Zambia’s dawn and the promise of peace and democracy has become a reality.
As representatives from all over the world gather in Lusaka to celebrate your Jubilee, Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be there to represent America and pay tribute to your inspiring record. Time and time again, Zambians have stood up, voted, and let leadership change hands peacefully.
Our two nations are united in mutual respect and responsibility for universal values. President Obama and I were pleased to welcome Vice President Scott to the African Leaders’ Summit in August, and discuss so many important issues at this transformative moment for Africa. We will continue to work closely to strengthen democracy, support human rights, spur economic growth, and improve the health and education of the Zambian people.
As you celebrate this special day, the United States stands with you as a partner and friend.
PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — France congratulates the Zambian authorities and people on the 50th anniversary of independence, which will be celebrated tomorrow.
On this occasion we pay tribute to Zambia’s comm…
TOKYO, Japan, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 1. Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane will visit the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Tunisia from October 23 to 27.
2. In Zambia, Parliamentar…
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 462nd meeting held on 16 October 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in Somalia and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):
1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in Somalia [PSC/PR/2.(CDLXII)] and the briefings provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia, Head of AMISOM. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of Somalia, Ethiopia, as chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Uganda, as a troop contributing country to AMISOM, the United Nations and the European Union (EU), as well as by the representatives of China, France, Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States of America, as members of the UN Security Council, and Italy, as Co-chair of the IGAD Partners Forum;
2. Recalls its previous decisions and press statements on the situation in Somalia, including communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.1(CCCLVI) adopted at its 356th meeting held on 27 February 2013, communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDXIV) adopted at its 414th meeting held on 21 January 2014, and press statement PSC/PR/BR.(CDXXV) adopted at its 425th meeting held on 24 March 2014;
3. Reiterates its commitment to the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia;
4. Reaffirms AU’s full support to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its commitment to continue to assist the FGS in its stabilization and reconstruction efforts, including the implementation of the Government’s Vision 2016 Agenda and the New Deal Somali Compact;
5. Welcomes the FGS-led efforts towards the establishment of interim district and regional administrations in the newly-recovered areas, and underlines the urgent need to complete the establishment of interim regional administrations throughout Somalia by the end of 2014, based on the principles of political inclusivity and transparency and in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution;
6. Further welcomes the establishment of the Independent Constitutional Review and Implementation Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission, which gives impetus to the FGS’s commitment to conduct legitimate and inclusive national elections in 2016. In this regard, Council requests the relevant structures within the Commission, in close consultation with the United Nations and other international stakeholders, to provide the necessary support to the FGS;
7. Notes with satisfaction the security gains recorded by AMISOM and the Somalia National Army (SNA) during Operations Eagle and Indian Ocean, which made it possible to recover several towns and villages from the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Council stresses the need to consolidate these gains through the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance and basic social services, as well as the implementation of quick impact projects. Council encourages the FGS, with the support of the United Nations and other partners, to urgently take all necessary steps in this respect. Council further encourages the FGS to ensure that the SNA hold on to and secure the recovered areas;
8. Commends, once again, AMISOM for its outstanding contribution to the improvement of security in Somalia, the stabilization of the country and furtherance of the reconciliation process. Council reiterates its appreciation to AMISOM troop (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda) and police (Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda) contributing countries (T/PCCs) for their commitment and sacrifices;
9. Requests the Commission to undertake, in close coordination with the United Nations Secretariat, a joint review of AMISOM, especially the implementation of the AMISOM Concept of Operations (CONOPS), with a view to enhancing the planning and effectiveness of the joint SNA and AMISOM operations;
10. Welcomes the continuing efforts by the Commission and AMISOM to ensure that the Mission and its personnel uphold the highest standards in terms of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including a zero tolerance to all forms of misconduct and indiscipline. In this regard, Council notes with satisfaction the decision taken by the Commission to thoroughly investigate the allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) leveled against some AMISOM personnel. Council further notes with satisfaction the additional measures and steps that the Commission and the AMISOM leadership are planning to take, including the adoption of a one-year plan on SEA, the inclusion of a specific Annex on SEA into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the T/PCCs, and the improvement of welfare and recreation facilities for all AMISOM personnel;
11. Reiterates its appreciation to IGAD and to its Chairperson, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, for their continued commitment and sustained efforts towards the promotion of lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in Somalia. Council notes in particular IGAD’s central role in facilitating the conclusion and implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement of 28 August 2013, the Agreements to form interim regional administrations in the South-West and Central regions of Somalia, signed on 23 June and 30 July 2014, respectively, and the Agreement of 14 October 2014 between the FGS and Puntland, as important steps forward in the path towards peace and state-building in Somalia;
12. Reiterates AU’s appreciation to the United Nations for its continued support to AMISOM, notably through the support package authorized by the UN Security Council, and expresses appreciation to the Security Council for its historic visit to Somalia on 13 August 2014. Council also reiterates its appreciation to the European Union (EU) and its Member States, the United States of America and other partners for their continued support to AMISOM and to peace and stabilization efforts in Somalia. Council encourages them to continue and enhance their support, especially with regard to the provision of enablers and force multipliers to AMISOM and infrastructure to the SNA and the Somali Police Force (SPF);
13. Welcomes the outcomes of the Conference on Support to the SNA, which took place in London, United Kingdom, from 17 to 18 September 2014, as a key contribution to the ongoing professionalization of the SNA and the SPF. Council calls upon international partners to provide to the SNA and the SPF enhanced and more flexible logistical support, as well as training and capacity building support;
14. Welcomes the convening of the High-Level Meeting on Somalia in New York, on 24 September 2014, which discussed the political process in Somalia, based on the FGS’s Vision 2016 – Agenda for Political Transformation, and looks forward to the Ministerial High-Level Partnership Forum to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 19 to 20 November 2014, which will be an opportunity to agree on the key priorities for 2015, in line with the Vision 2016 Agenda;
15. Welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Maman S. Sidikou, from Niger, as the new Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, and pays tribute to his predecessor, Ambassador Mahamat Saleh Annadif, for his leadership and outstanding contribution to the quest for peace, security and reconciliation in Somalia. Council calls upon the new Special Representative to closely engage the leadership of the FGS on the key elements of the political process and joint military operations;
16. Renews the mandate of AMISOM for a further period of 12 months and, with reference to operative paragraph 1 of resolution 2124(2013), adopted by the UN Security Council on 12 November 2013, requests the Security Council to renew for a further period of 12 months, starting from 31 October 2014, the authorization to the AU Member States to maintain the deployment of AMISOM, to enable the Mission to continue to carry out its mandate and to take all necessary measures to this effect;
17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
BERN, Switzerland, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Switzerland is committed to ensuring the success of the upcoming elections in Tunisia. Switzerland is a major stakeholder with a wide variety of programmes in Tunisia and is prov…
ANTWERP, Belgium, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An international research consortium led by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM) (http://www.itg.be) will assess whether treatment with antibodies in the blood of Ebola survivors could help infected patients to fight off the disease. If proven effective, this straightforward intervention could be scaled up in the short term and provide an urgently needed treatment option for patients in West Africa.
Photo Máire-Geoghegan-Quinn: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1478
Photo Van Griensven Johan: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/index.php?level=picture&id=1479
The researchers receive € 2.9 million of European Union (EU) funding (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1194_en.htm?locale=en) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treatment with blood and plasma made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients.
A WHO expert meeting in September recommended convalescent blood therapies as one of the most promising strategies meriting urgent evaluation as treatment of Ebola disease. As a result of the current outbreak, there are also substantial numbers of survivors to prepare Ebola plasma.
ITM’s Johan van Griensven, the project’s coordinating investigator, said:
“Blood and plasma therapy are medical interventions with a long history, safely used for other infectious diseases. We want to find out whether this approach works for Ebola, is safe and can be put into practice to reduce the number of deaths in the present outbreak. Ebola survivors contributing to curb the epidemic by donating blood could reduce fear of the disease and improve their acceptance in the communities.”
Blood and plasma from recovered Ebola patients has been used in a limited number of patients previously. For example, during the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), seven out of eight patients receiving convalescent whole blood survived. However, whether this was due to the transfusions or to other factors is unclear. There is an urgent need to evaluate this therapy in carefully designed studies according to the highest ethical and scientific standards.
EU Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said in today’s funding announcement that it is urgent to step up medical research on Ebola. According to Geoghegan-Quinn the selected projects ”enlist the best academic researchers and industry to take the fight to this deadly disease.”
The Wellcome Trust will provide additional support, enabling unparalleled international collaboration across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to tackle the Ebola emergency.
Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said:
“The Wellcome Trust is delighted to work in partnership with the European Commission to support and help fast-track this critical work. Convalescent serum offers the best potential treatment for Ebola in the short term that could be scaled up if proven effective. Global collaboration of this nature, including clinical researchers and multiple partners from across Europe and West Africa, is both unprecedented and essential if we are to bring the current outbreak under control.”
The international research consortium
The € 2.9 million grant from the EU will fund the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, University of Liverpool, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, Aix-Marseille University, the French Blood Transfusion Service (Etablissement Français du Sang), Institute Pasteur, and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.
The consortium also includes the National Blood Transfusion Centre in Conakry (Guinea), the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasha (DRC), and the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders.
The project, which will start in Guinea in November 2014, is supported and guided by the WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC).
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (ITM).
Notes to the editors:
• European Union to boost Ebola research with €24.4 million: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1194_en.htm?locale=en
• Roeland Scholtalbers (ITM Antwerp): firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 32470729, +32 477068384
• Samantha Martin (University of Liverpool): samantha.Martin@liverpool.ac.uk
• Katie Steels and Jenny Orton (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine): email@example.com +44(0)2079272802
• Priscille Riviere (INSERM): firstname.lastname@example.org , +33(0)1 44 23 60 97
• Jonathan Wood (University of Oxford): email@example.com
• Celine Damon (AMU): firstname.lastname@example.org
• Nadine Peyrolo (IP): Nadine.email@example.com
• Françoise Le Failler (EFS) : firstname.lastname@example.org
• Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum (INRB): email@example.com
• Dr. Nyankoye Haba (NBC) : firstname.lastname@example.org, +224 68389798
• An Luyten (Rode Kruis) : An.Luyten@rodekruis.be, + 32 0475775824
• Hellen Jamison (Wellcome Trust): H.Jamison@wellcome.ac.uk , +44 7834 756215
PARIS, France, October 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Between October 7 and 17, civilians in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), again experienced violent clashes and abuse. It was very difficult for MSF teams to reach the wounded and provide aid during that period. It was also difficult for patients – whether ill or victims of violence – to reach health care facilities. For MSF, one of the direct consequences of those 10 days of violence was an unacceptable reduction in humanitarian space in the capital and throughout the rest of the country. Delphine Chedorge, MSF’s head of mission in Bangui, looks back at those days.
Why did violence break out again in Bangui in early October?
“Political tensions rose sharply on October 7. The anti-Balaka demanded the resignation of the CAR’s president, who was accused of corruption. Several days later, the ex-Seleka took up the same demand. And that night, an isolated grenade attack triggered clashes in the capital. The MSF team treated 13 wounded people at the General Hospital. One of them died. While inter-communal violence did occur, most of the clashes were between armed groups and international forces.
The United Nations reported that between October 7 and 17, 13 people were killed and 242 were wounded. Approximately 6,000 people were displaced and 1,600 new refugees were registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
What was the situation like during those 10 days?
When the clashes broke out again, the situation was explosive throughout almost the entire city. It was very difficult to deliver assistance and obtain access to care. Bangui was controlled by a host of armed groups. Attacks, ambushes and reprisals were carried out regularly, including close to our living quarters, health care facilities and offices. The streets were empty. The city seemed paralyzed and dead. Taxis, motorbikes and private cars were prohibited from operating.
Because of the insecurity, threats and barriers erected in the city, some organizations could not travel in their vehicles. Our teams – expatriate and Central African – had a lot of trouble getting around. As a result, for five consecutive days, our teams could not reach the PK5 neighborhood, which was particularly affected. MSF supports a clinic there where we regularly provide pediatric care.
During one of our trips, a terrified woman rushed toward our car. She was carrying a wounded child. In the car, we realized that he was already dead because he had not reached the hospital in time. It is quite likely that other patients and wounded people were trapped at home, and even died, because they lacked transportation or were afraid to leave the house.
It was difficult for us to work and reach the ill and wounded. Humanitarian space in Bangui and, more generally in the CAR, has been reduced to an unacceptable degree. During those 10 days of violence, aid was cut off and blocked. Other aid actors, such as the Red Cross, were threatened and prohibited from collecting bodies or transporting the wounded. Six security incidents targeting humanitarian workers directly were reported during that period.
What was MSF able to do?
During those 10 days, our teams still managed to treat 90 wounded people at the General Hospital, 54 at our M’Poko clinic and 16 at the Castor Hospital. Those people had received primarily bullet and grenade, but also machete, wounds. Most of them arrived on their own, sometimes several days after being wounded.
Medical supplies and drugs had been sent to the General Hospital, the referral hospital, where the action plan in the event of a massive inflow of wounded patients had been launched and strengthened. Forty-eight hour shifts were organized so that the Central African employees could sleep and eat at the hospital, without exposing themselves to the violent clashes in the streets. These medical staff handled the emergencies, knowing that their own families were particularly exposed in certain neighborhoods. It was extremely difficult for them.
What is MSF’s assessment of what happened during those 10 days?
The nature of the clashes in October was different from that of previous months. The increase in the number of acts of banditry and the strategy of the armed groups – that is, to strangle basic services – threatened aid efforts, which are critical in the CAR. All public services in the country, and particularly health services, are increasingly weak. Although MSF was not targeted directly during the most recent clashes, the ongoing reduction in humanitarian space in Bangui and throughout the rest of the country deprives the population of emergency assistance and endangers the teams.
MSF has been a key health actor in the Central African Republic since 1997. We have become even more important since the country and its health system are experiencing a crisis again. Even a partial pull-out on our part, at the annual peak of the malaria season – an illness that is more deadly than the current violence in the CAR – penalizes a population that has suffered terribly and that we have been assisting, on a heightened, ongoing basis, for nearly a year. Without treatment, children, who are malaria’s first victims, could die.
What is the current situation in Bangui?
While some humanitarian organizations still cannot carry out their work, “normal” life and activities resumed in Bangui as of October 20, at least during the day. After 6 pm, robberies begin (or resume) and vehicles can no longer drive on the streets. Many residents, including Central African humanitarian personnel, witness the nightly looting of their houses and must shelter their families at the displaced persons’ sites, where living conditions remain very precarious.
The armed groups currently deployed and taking action in Bangui and across the country, as well as the entire population, must respect the teams, facilities and vehicles delivering aid, as well as the right of the ill and wounded to obtain care safely. This is the not the first time that MSF has issued this call, but we will keep trying to hammer it home. Bangui may be ‘calm’ again, but it is hardly a peaceful city and we can expect more violence.”
MSF has been working in the Central African Republic since 1997. We have doubled our medical assistance there since 2013 to respond to the current crisis and have increased the number of projects from 10 to 17.