Thursday, July 29, 2010

Central African Republic to allow humanitarian access for displaced people

On July 28th, the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) announced that it would allow humanitarian aid workers into its northern territories to help the 200,000 people who have been displaced by rebel fighting. Since December, the area had been deemed too insecure to allow for workers to operate there.

The CAR made this change in part due to UN pressure to see improvement in the humanitarian situation change for displaced people. Less than two weeks ago, UN expert on human rights for internally displaced persons (IDPs) Walter Kaelin issued a statement on his investigation on the situation in the CAR. He stressed that helping the displaced persons in the CAR and the disarmament and reintegration of the rebel forces was crucial for the establishment of peace in the region.
The CAR has been dealing with rebel attacks from various spillover groups from the Darfur region in Sudan. Recently, the Lord's Resistance Army- a rebel group that has been terrorizing the Uganda/Congo region since the 1980s- began attacking some villages in the southeast areas of the country. Current President Francois Boizize, in power since a 2003 military coup, has already postponed national elections twice this year because of the violence and lack of funding.

-Matthew Thwaites