Thousands flee to Central African Republic airport to escape violence

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Children in the Central African Republic. OCHA/ Laura Fultang

A fresh wave of insecurity and fighting in the Central African Republic capital of  Bangui has displaced at least 6,000 people, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

The agency says there has been an increase of attacks on the civilian population by armed groups in the Boy-Rabe and Boeing neighborhoods and is appealing to the government to take immediate action to protect civilians from harm and allow them to return to their homes.

UNHCR says the majority of those displaced had taken refuge at Bangui International airport, blocking the runway to air traffic.

A group of about 500 people have found shelter at a local hospital where overcrowding and deteriorating sanitary conditions are a major concern.

Babar Baloch is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"In the past ten days arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, extortion, armed robberies together with physical violence has actually compelled people to leave their homes and this is in two neighbourhoods, of Boy-Rabe and Boeing areas of Bangui. The security situation is really bad and for civilians it is getting worse day by day. What we have seen over the last few months is that lawlessness is all around. People have really struggled in terms of securing their areas and also in terms of their own safety and this recent incident just adds to that sense of insecurity and this is the reason people are now trying to flee to more secure areas within the capital. So the situation is not good on the ground."

The Central African Republic has witnessed growing insecurity following the overthrow of the government by rebel forces in March this year and which has left over 206,000 people displaced.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.53″

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