15 January 2014

Violence in the Central African Republic leaves SOS Bangui open to Attack

1/15/2014: Though violence in the Central African Republic continues, the SOS Children’s Villages in the area remain safe and stable

The Current Situation in the Central African Republic

Even as new interim president Catherine Samba-Panza was named on January 20th, conflict in the Central African Republic is wearing on. Driven by political and religious division, militants continue to stage attacks upon civilians and armed entities alike. The UN has previously warned that the violence seems likely to escalate to the level of genocide, though hopes are high that Samba-Panza will be able to reduce the violence that has swept the country since March 2013.

The SOS Children’s Villages

Fortunately, all children within the SOS Children’s Villages in the CAR remain safe and stable. The SOS Children’s Village in the capital city of Bangui is providing life-saving services for approximately 4,000 internally displaced people who have sought refuge in the village. The World Food Program is working with SOS to distribute food, and first aid is also offered. Currently, the greatest challenge for the village is sanitation, as the water shortage is becoming a problem and proper maintenance is a challenge.

An Attack in Bangui

While the children, staff and refugees at SOS Bangui are currently safe, an SOS staff member has been attacked by rebels. The staff member and the SOS Village were protected from the attack by soldiers from the Multinational Force of Africa, who will remain in place until there is stability in the CAR. With the exception of Medical Centers in Bangui, general activities have been suspended. SOS co-workers that are not essential to the emergency program have been asked to remain at home.