Red Cross aid hit in CAR

2014-10-09 20:34
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Geneva - The Red Cross said on Thursday fresh violence in the Central African Republic was preventing its work to help civilians, especially with its aid workers threatened by gunmen.

"Without security, we cannot do our work and save lives," said Jean-Francois Sangsue, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross's operations in the capital Bangui.

"The threats must stop. We are asking the population to facilitate the work of Red Cross volunteers. If the threats continue we will be obliged to cease all relief activities, leaving many victims to fend for themselves," he said in a statement.

Violence erupted on Tuesday when a motorcyclist threw grenades injuring several pedestrians in the capital Bangui, an officer from the UN peacekeeping Minusca force said.

That sparked tit-for-tat killings, with around seven dead, and aid workers were threatened as they tried to recover the bodies.

The Red Cross urged all those involved in the renewed violence to let aid workers do their job.

"It's truly regrettable that such actions can jeopardise any attempt to help the wounded," said Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross.

The renewed tensions have raised fears in the impoverished and notoriously unstable country, which plunged into renewed unrest and bloodletting after a coup last year.

Human rights abuses against civilians by mainly Muslim former rebels from the Seleka alliance and vengeful militias from the Christian majority have claimed thousands of lives since the coup in March 2013 and displaced more than a quarter of the population of 4.6 million people.

The Red Cross said that in addition to the causalities, the violence has been accompanied by attacks on homes and businesses, which had been ransacked and set on fire.

Read more on:    icrc  |  red cross  |  central african republic  |  central africa

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