Central African Republic: MSF Calls for Ceasefire in Bangassou to Allow Deployment of Urgent Medical Aid

Central African Republic CAR Bangassou

Borja Ruiz Rodriguez/MSF

UPDATE May 15, 2017

Bangui—On May 15, an MSF mobile team finally succeeded in providing emergency medical care to the people who sought refuge in the Bangassou mosque. Among the 250 people there, MSF counted 25 wounded and provided first-aid care to 10 before gunshots forced the MSF team to leave. Five of the wounded required surgical intervention. Thirty-three other wounded patients were treated in Bangassou hospital today, which brings the total number of patients treated by MSF to 69 since Saturday morning.

MSF is extremely worried about the civilian population of Bangassou. The organization received confirmation that the displaced people who sought refuge in the hospital and in the mosque were transferred today to the church. The security situation remains volatile and staff in the area can still hear sporadic gunshots. MSF calls again on all parties to the conflict to allow for the deployment of urgent medical aid for civilians and wounded people. 


Bangassou/Bangui—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for a ceasefire in Bangassou (Mbomou Province) in order to reach wounded people in need of lifesaving medical care following intense fighting that broke out Saturday.

"In the space of a few hours, MSF treated 21 wounded people in Bangassou hospital," said René Colgo, MSF’s deputy head of mission currently working in Bangassou’s hospital. "Our teams are aware of further wounded elsewhere in the city who are under fire and unable to reach medical care. At the moment, it is impossible to have an idea of the exact number of wounded, as the intensity of the fighting makes it impossible to move around the city center."

Conflict in the eastern part of Central African Republic has intensified in recent months, reaching what was previously the relatively stable province of Mbomou in March. On Monday, May 8, MSF’s teams in Bangassou Hospital treated 12 people who had been wounded in clashes between UN forces and an armed group, 25 kilometers [about 15 miles] from the city.

In recent days, some residents of Bangassou have fled the city, but others are trapped in their homes or have sought refuge in places that they hope can offer some protection against the violence, MSF said.

"We are asking all parties currently engaged in open fighting in Bangassou to agree to a ceasefire and allow us to collect the wounded and offer a minimum of humanitarian assistance to the population," said Colgo. "All wounded have the right to access medical care. Civilians should not be targeted, and all warring parties have a duty to respect the safety of medical facilities such as hospitals, ambulances, and their staff."

Slideshow: Fear and Displacement in Central African Republic

MSF is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, health care exclusion, and natural or man-made disasters. In addition to its operations in over a dozen locations in the Central African Republic, it has provided support to Bangassou Hospital since 2014 as well as to the health centers of Yongofongo, Mbalazine, and Niakari, where it offers access to vital medical care for the 206,000 people living in Mbomou Province. From January to March 2017, MSF treated almost 2,000 people in Bangassou Hospital.