Press Briefing on Crisis in Central African Republic with MSF Head of Mission Sylvain Groulx

By Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
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NAIROBI, Kenya, June 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Press Briefing on Crisis in Central African Republic with MSF Head of Mission Sylvain Groulx

WHO: Sylvain Groulx, outgoing MSF head of mission, Central African Republic

WHAT: Off the record press briefing on crisis in Central African Republic;

On the record interviews will follow as desired

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 23, 2014

WHERE: MSF East Africa Unit office, Mayfair Centre, 4th floor; Ralph Bunche Road, Nairobi

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance to Tim Shenk, interim MSF regional

information officer, at [email protected] or +254 722 513 981.

After more than a year and a half of armed conflict, the Central African Republic (CAR) is divided. Anti-Balaka forces dominate the west, where Muslim enclaves still exist, threatened and surrounded by armed men. Séléka forces dominate the northeast. Despite the presence of international forces, the conflict is raging on, and a front line is now established near the middle of the country, where belligerents are again targeting the civilian population — killing, burning homes and entire villages and forcing people into displacement. More than half a million people are now internally displaced, and nearly a quarter million have fled the country since December 2013 according to the UN.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is one of the largest medical and humanitarian aid providers in CAR with more than 300 international and 2,000 national staff in 21 locations across the country, plus six projects serving refugees in Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sylvain Groulx served as MSF head of mission from May 2012 to June 2014, witnessing every stage of the current crisis and meeting many of the key players in the conflict. Sylvain also worked with MSF in CAR during earlier emergencies in 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Sylvain will share his personal perspective on the complexity of the conflict, the enormous medical needs in the country, the international community's massive neglect of the displaced population and the worrying trend of further violence as CAR prepares for elections planned in February 2015.

Sylvain will be available for interviews in English and French. Refreshments will be provided.