Forced displacement from CAR continuing amid widespread lawlessness

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Refugees from Central African Republic arrive in Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Equateur province earlier this month after crossing the Oubangui River. © UNHCR/G.Casteele

Nearly 63,000 refugees from the Central African Republic have fled the country to neighbouring countries since the latest political crisis in the country erupted in December last year, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

Some 40,500 have fled into the Democratic Republic of Congo, while another 13,000 have streamed into Chad.

UNHCR says it remains extremely concerned over the situation inside the CAR, with continuing reports of lawlessness and insecurity in many areas.

In the capital Bangui, security for humanitarian workers continues to be of major concern after two United Nations staff members were recently attacked and seriously injured by armed men affiliated to the Seleka rebel group.

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says forced displacement is also taking place inside the country with over 206,000 people internally displaced.

"In rural areas, widespread fear is reported among the civilian population, who are responding in some cases by organizing vigilante groups. Clashes between the local population and elements of Seleka took place in the morning yesterday and on Sunday at Beboura, a village located 30 km from Paoua, a town near the Chadian border. We are again calling on the CAR government to do more to ensure the safety of people and their property  and to avert further displacement and suffering." 

The Central African Republic is also host to over 11,000 mainly Congolese and Sudanese refugees.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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