US News: Central African Republic: Mines paralyzed humanitarian action in the northwestern country

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Armed groups spread explosive gear on major roads.

  Centrafrique : les mines paralysent l'action humanitaire dans le nord-ouest du pays © Provided by FranceInfo

Six blue helmets were injured - including two stière - at the end of December by the explosion of mines at the passage of their vehicle in the north-west of the Central African Republic . It has been several months since armed groups in the country use guerrilla techniques to delay the advanced pro-government forces.

A daily threat

a year after being repulsed with large agglomerations thanks to the paramilitary Russian , the rebel groups are far from being neutralized in the Central African Republic. They continue to fight against pro-governmental forces and rely on improvised explosive gear (IEE) to repel all offensive.

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Unidentified explosive devices are disseminated on many strategic axes and threatens the civilian population and the humanitarian organizations that help it.

"The presence of explosive gear limits the number of patrols and disabled the mission of protection of civilians."

Noam Assouline, spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in Central African Republic in Paoua (Northwest)

at AFP

Civilian Victims

at the end of December, six blue helmets were injured by the explosion of mine buried on two different roads. At least about twenty civilians were killed because of these gear in 2021, according to the UN. The mines are mainly asked by the rebels of the 3R group (return, claim, rehabilitation), one of the most powerful armed groups in the Central African Republic.

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As early as April 2021, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned against this new threat that hampers the action of humanitarian organizations.

"When there were only fighting, we profit from lulls to pass but the mines block access."

Mahoua Coulibaly, head of the World Food Program in Paoua (Northwest)

at AFP

in the northwest of the country, where more than 60% of the population suffers from hunger, the World Food Program has already organized Food distributions by air in an exceptional way, but that is not enough. Demining operations are urgent and necessary, but specialists are missing, according to the United Nations mission in Central African Republic (UNMUSCA), which should resume "soon" these operations.

According to The UN Humanitarian Affairs Office (OCHA), more than three million people will need assistance in 2022 in the Central African Republic on a population of about five million.

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