Central African Republic: MSF Treats Wounded Amid Violence in Bangui

Central African Republic

Central African Republic 2018 © Florent Vergnes/AFP

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC/NEW YORK, APRIL 13, 2018—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated 80 wounded patients amid violence in Bangui over the past week.

In the early morning of April 8, United Nations and Central African Republic security forces launched a joint operation in the PK5 neighborhood in Bangui, which involved heavy fighting and resulted in dozens of people wounded.

MSF teams treated 40 wounded patients on April 8. This included 24 treated by MSF's surgical teams at Sica hospital and others who received first aid at MSF's Gbaya-Dombia maternity center.

After fighting resumed in PK5 on April 10, surgical teams at Sica hospital received a new influx of 40 patients that evening, when Red Cross ambulances were finally able to evacuate the wounded. The vast majority had gunshot wounds, and several suffered shrapnel or stab wounds.

Elsewhere in Central African Republic, MSF teams in Bria, Bambari, Kabo, and Batangafo reported tensions in their respective cities on April 11 and the following days in reaction to the operations in PK5. In Kabo and Batangafo, movements by MSF and other aid organizations have been restricted by armed groups.

Outside of Bangui, many areas of Central African Republic have experienced violence in recent years, as different areas of the country are under the control of various armed groups. Combatants have inflicted extreme levels of violence on the local population, often on the basis of religious or ethnic identity, and have targeted medical structures, ambulances, medical staff, and patients. Over the last year, MSF has experienced about 40 violent incidents in Central African Republic, including physical assaults on staff and patients, armed robberies, and killings.

MSF provides medical services in 12 locations in Central African Republic, including three medical facilities in Bangui.