CAR: A woman carries water from the river to the refugee site of Ndu, Bas-Uele Province in the DRC CAR: A woman carries water from the river to the refugee site of Ndu, Bas-Uele Province in the DRC 

CAR: Post-election violence impacting children the most

The recent unrest, in the Central African Republic, has displaced thousands and UNICEF says that children are paying a heavier price.

Vatican News English Africa Service

Thousand have once more been forced to flee the Central African Republic as a rebel coalition, the Coalition of Patriots for Change or CPC, that earlier called for Presidential elections to be annulled pile pressure on Faustin-Archange Touadéra to resign. CAR’s Constitutional Court confirmed Touadera's victory in the December 2020 polls notwithstanding the now widespread violence being perpetrated by armed groups.

Increased cases of Malnutrition

“This new wave of violence and displacement is increasing humanitarian needs at a time when the Central African people are already dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and years of conflict and insecurity,” said Fran Equiza, UNICEF Representative in CAR. “For the most vulnerable children and women, fighting is a direct threat to their lives. It is likely to lead to an increase in the incidence of malnutrition among children and gross violations of their rights, such as recruitment or killing.”

Across the country, cases of severe acute malnutrition among children under five have increased by 16.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2020. This is largely due to the widespread insecurity says UNICEF.

Children bearing the brunt of the crisis

“Once again, children are bearing the brunt of this crisis: Having their education disrupted, being exposed to violence, separated from their families, or recruited into armed groups,” added Equiza. “We are calling on all parties to ensure that civilians, especially children and women, are protected and kept out of harm’s way, in line with international human rights and humanitarian law.”

Refugees in search of safety

In the meantime, the UN Refugee Agency reports of thousands displaced within CAR, hiding in forests without food or water aas they try to reach safety.

Neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, the DRC, and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) are hosting the majority of CAR’s refugees.

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26 January 2021, 13:06