African Press Association

Thousands flee CAR clashes to DRC

From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – SOME 88 000 people have fled their homes in May during the escalating strife in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Since fighting flared in May between rebels more than 68 000 people have fled their homes within CAR, while nearly 20 000 have sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Significant rebel activity on towns along the DRC border as well as rumours of possible attacks are pushing people to flee in the Haute Kotto and Mbomou prefectures inside CAR.
Over the last weeks, attacks of armed groups resulted in displacement within the Bria, Bangassou and Basse-Kotto prefectures.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson, Babar Baloch, said in addition, hundreds of civilians had been reportedly killed.
Most of the displaced sleep in the open or in makeshift shelters.
The recent upsurge in violence is also pushing people to cross the border into the DRC’s Bas Uele and Ubangi provinces.  DRC has its own refugee crisis to deal with following clashes between militants and the army.
“People there arrived (DRC) with hardly any belongings and some were wounded and require treatment,” said Baloch.
Baloch called for urgent support to UNHCR’s funding appeal of US$209 (R272,4 million) million for the CAR situation, which is only 6 percent funded.
CAJ News