UNHCR worried about resurgence of violence in areas of CAR

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Displaced people carry belongings through the M’Poko airport camp in Bangui, Central African Republic. Photo: OCHA/Phil Moore

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is "extremely worried" over renewed violence in parts of the Central African Republic (CAR).

This follows reports of clashes between self-defence groups and other armed groups in three towns in the south and the north.

Dianne Penn has the story.

The violence is occurring in the towns of Zemio, Bria and Kaga Bandaro, UNHCR reported on Friday, adding that civilians and humanitarian workers are also being targeted.

Intense heavy weapons fire has forced 1,000 people to flee their homes in Zemio, located close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Many have sought refuge in a Catholic church or at a UNHCR compound.

Indiscriminate attacks in Bria, located northeast of the capital, Bangui, have left an estimated 136 people dead and 36 wounded, with 600 homes burned.

Three consecutive days of clashes last week led many people to flee to the bush, while a camp hosting more than 2,000 internally displaced people is now completely empty, according to reports.

UNHCR said "People fleeing the violence speak of having witnessed brutal attacks, killings, robberies, lootings and kidnappings."

Meanwhile, unidentified men attempted to break into a UNHCR accommodation in the northern town of Kaga Bandoro on Wednesday but were prevented by peacekeepers with the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA.

Although the insecurity is hampering humanitarians from assessing the full extent of the damage and displacement, UNHCR said teams were able to distribute relief items to more than 5,000 households in Bria.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’30″

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