Some residents recently uprooted from their homes by fighting between rebels and forces loyal to the government in the capital have started to return from village refuges along the 80-km road leading north to the town of Boali, an official of the UN Children's Fund told IRIN on Sunday.
U N I T E D N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Some IDPs returning to Bangui
BANGUI, 18 November (IRIN) - Some residents recently uprooted from their homes by fighting between rebels and forces loyal to the government in the capital have started to return from village refuges along the 80-km road leading north to the town of Boali, an official of the UN Children's Fund told IRIN on Sunday.
"We went from one village to another to assess the situation, the number, and the needs of the displaced," Dr. Eugene Kpizingui, the administrator of the agency's health and nutrition programme, said.
He was part of a team that included officials from the World Food Programme, the UN Peace-building Office in the CAR, and the Italian NGO, Cooperazione Internazionale. The displaced people in the area had fled northern suburbs of the capital, Bangui, to avoid fighting between pro-government troops and invading rebels loyal to renegade army officer Francois Bozize. Pro-government Congolese forces, the Mouvement de liberation du Congo, looted homes in the northern suburbs.
One displaced person who, with 21 members of his family, fled to Baoli said the Congolese were still occupying their home in a neighbourhood 12 km north of Bangui.
The Red Cross in Boali has registered and assisted 593 IDPs who arrived in the town empty handed. The chairman of the Red Cross in Boali, Gaston Begale, told IRIN that many IDPs were received by their relatives, while others rented homes or slept outdoors.
Almost all the health centres along the road to Boali have run out of medicines, which locals have been buying from street-side peddlers. Meanwhile, WFP has distributed 150 kg of protein-enriched flour and 50 kg of sugar to the town's IDPs, targeting children and pregnant women.
"We will send other mission to have accurate figures to that we can assist children and pregnant women, and provide local health centres with essential medicines," Kpizingui said.
[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN
humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views
of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or
to change your keywords, contact e-mail: [email protected] or Web:
http://www.irinnews.org . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post
this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial
sites requires written IRIN permission.]
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2002