Top UN relief official in Central African Republic condemns attack against aid workers

25 August 2015 | Press Releases

CAR, 24 August 2015 – A senior United Nations relief official today strongly condemned the attack against humanitarian workers that occurred on August 20 in Bambari, in Central African Republic (CAR), and injured one staff from the Red Cross Movement.

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

Aid distribution point in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Photo: OCHA

“I condemn the violence and call on all belligerents to respect and protect humanitarian workers who provide assistance to thousands of people affected by the crisis in the country,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative for the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), Aurélien A. Agbénonci, in a press release.

The violence occurred in the context of renewed intercommunal tensions that caused the death of at least five civilians and the evacuation of eight injured to Bambari health structures.

“The humanitarian situation in the country is worrying and the principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality and the rules of international humanitarian law must be respected,” Mr. Agbénonci added.

Humanitarian workers pay a heavy price in the exercise of their function. Nineteen of them have been killed since the start of the crisis in CAR. Access continues to be hampered by various constraints in the country, particularly by violence. “Attacks against aid workers reduce their ability to carry out these essential activities, leaving the most vulnerable in CAR at a risky situation,” said Mr Agbénonci.

Therefore, he called on all parties to ensure that those providing humanitarian assistance can safely access people in need and conduct their activities without hindrance.