UN: UN relief official in CAR condemns attacks on aid workers

New York, US (PANA) - The UN humanitarian coordinator in Central African Republic (CAR), Mr. Marc Vandenberghe, has condemned the surge in violence against aid workers in the country and appealed to all belligerents to allow them to do their jobs safely.

The appeal was made after a recent attack against a UN food convoy on a major supply route killed a driver.

"I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by conflict in the country," Mr. Vandenberghe said in a statement obtained by PANA in New York late Wednesday.

He strongly condemned the attack against a World Food Programme (WFP) food convoy on 18 July near Baboua, in the north-western part region, noting that the convoy of 20 vehicles - escorted by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) peacekeepers - received gun shots that fatally wounded one of the drivers and caused injuries to passengers.

"Humanitarian access continues to be hampered by various constraints in the country, particularly violence against civilians and humanitarian workers.

"The upsurge in armed attacks on the Main Supply Route 1 from the west of the country threatens the continuity of humanitarian activities in the country," the UN
official said.

Mr. Vandenberghe also underscored the urgent appeal of the humanitarian community in the country to all parties to the conflict to refrain from attacking humanitarian workers, and allow
them to do their jobs and save lives safely in the whole country.

More than two years of civil war and sectarian violence have displaced thousands of people in CAR amid ongoing clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance and the anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian.

The UN estimated that some 450,000 people remain displaced inside the country while thousands of others have sought asylum across the borders.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 23July2015

23 july 2015 07:47:17

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