IDPs in the Central African Republic are stating their discontent with the way that the UN peacekeepers have protected them so far. They are saying that the UN’s actions have been completely inadequate. There have been reports of rebels entering towns that have UN peacekeepers, greeting them, then attacking a different area of the town. The UN peacekeeper then left back to their base, as the area being attacked was not their responsibility. This has put many people in danger and has not helped end the violence that is tearing that nation apart.
2017-11-03 CAR (WorldWatchMonitor) When armed men attacked the north-western town of Bocaranga in the Central African Republic in September, thousands fled, including women and children.
Madeleine, nine, was among them. She didn’t think of taking a toy; instead, she strapped her 15-month-old baby sister Cesare on her back and ran.
With others, she walked for three days, including a night in the bush, before reaching a village, 40km away. From there, a lorry sent by a local MP brought them to safety in Bozoum.
Madeleine is among 19 unaccompanied children who have sought refuge there, 125km from home.
An eyewitness, anonymous for security, recalled the moment which shattered the lives of thousands:
“It all started on Friday 22 September. It was like the calm before the storm,” the eyewitness recalled.
“During the night, all was quiet, but tension was high as the town heard rumours of an attack. This created an atmosphere of panic, with some fleeing into the bush – on their bare feet, or by bike.
“Others sought refuge in the Catholic church compound or in schools, and others at the UN peacekeepers’ base [MINUSCA]. The exodus continued through the night, but nothing tangible happened.