UN HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CALLS FOR GREATER SECURITY AND PROTECTION OF ALL COMMUNITIES IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
BANGUI, Central African Republic, February 20, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos called for increased security and protection of all communities across the Central African Republic (CAR) as she started the second day of her mission in the country today.
She is accompanied by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, and Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Department of Safety and Security, Mbaranga Gasarabwe.
Since 5 December 2013, armed confrontations have led to a full-blown humanitarian crisis. Today, close to 700,000 people remain displaced, including more than 270,000 in the capital, Bangui, alone. More than 2.6 million people need urgent assistance and families of all communities across the country are living in fear of repeated attacks from armed militias.
“I am extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in CAR. The country has plunged into chaos and deadly violence following months of political crisis and lawlessness. We need more troops on the ground to provide security and protection to all civilians across the country,” said UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos.
The delegation met the President of the Transition Government, Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza, representatives of the humanitarian community, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Lt. General Babacar Gaye, to discuss ways to support the Transition Government.
“The country faces huge challenges,” said Ms. Amos. “The situation requires a political solution, but in the meantime the humanitarian community is at the forefront of efforts to support people in desperate need.”
During a meeting with the Archbishop of Bangui, Monsignor Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the Imam of Bangui, Oumar Kobine Layama, and Pastor Nicolas Guerekoyame Gbangou, the delegation stressed the urgency of restoring dialogue and trust between communities who have shared a common history of peaceful coexistence for centuries.
Representatives of civil society, including a network of 21 women's groups, spoke of the spiral of violence and the way it has affected all communities, causing long-lasting wounds.