AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - New attacks against medical facilities and teams who work in Ndélé

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "We are appalled by the aggression that our teams are being subjected to", reads a statement of the medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF), sent to Fides Agency, after new attacks against their team and facilities in the city of Ndélé, in the northern Central African Republic (CAR ), where they have been operating since 2010. Doctors say they remain determined to bring medical aid to the people of CAR but under minimum conditions that must be respected by the parties to the conflict. Part of the team has been evacuated from Ndélé as MSF evaluates the situation and negotiates the prospect of continuing its activities in the area with local authorities. "We carry out more than 1,600 consultations here weekly, and about a third of them are for children under five years old", the statement said. MSF is the only organization to provide health care in the city. Just a month after a massacre in Boguila (see Fides 29/04/2014), that left 18 civilians and three MSF workers dead, this most recent attack against MSF staff and property bespeaks the difficulties that humanitarian organisations are facing. From December 2012 to March 2014, MSF teams have been victim to some 115 security incidents in CAR. Since December 2013, MSF has doubled the number of programmes it runs in CAR from 10 to 21 and has set up six programmes in neighbouring countries in aid of Central African refugees. MSF has been working in CAR since 1997. At present, MSF has more than 300 expatriate staff and 2000 local workers responding to the crisis. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 04/06/2014)