Our expert for logistics, Volker Rath, is establishing an aids project for the people of the Central African Republic. More and more people flee from the violence between Moslem and Christian militias, which overshadow the country since President Francois Bozizé was driven out of office by the Séléka rebels. More than half of the inhabitants of the capital Bangui have fled, in total about one million people are fleeing from there. “The situation is worsening”, Rath reports, “after Séléka-President Michel Djotodia is in exile, Moslems are chased and cruelly killed on the streets. Frequently attacks on fleeing Moslems are reported, especially in the North-West towards the border to Cameroon. Mosques are burned down. The hate is unbearable. And the few soldiers cannot cope with the situation.”
In the district of Bossembélé, about 160 kilometers north-west of the capital, live more than 130,000 people. While medical support in the capital Bangui is provide by various organizations, there is nothing alike in this district since more than four month. The hospital in Bossembélé is deserted: No medicines, no wages paid and the security for the employees in danger. There is neither electric power nor food, as public transport broke down. Early this year the employees and most of the population fled from hunger and violence mainly to Bangui, where however they cannot be supported.
Therefore in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the director of the Bossembélé hospital we develop plans to bring the hospital back into operation, by providing medicines, technical equipment and staff. “The people suffer a lot – they deserve hope and aid” says Werner Strahl, a pediatrician and President of Cap Anamur. “Please support us with a donation from your very safe home countries.”
Background information: Crisis region Central African Republic
The political history of the Central African Republic is dominated by military revolutions and anarchy. The present conflict escalated about one year ago: Late in 2012 the Séléka-militia started fighting against former army Chief and President Francois Bozizé. Coming from the Muslim North East of the country, the Séléka rebels conquered the capital Bangui in March 2013. With the fall of the government and the abandonment of the constitution the terrorism against the Christian people started. The Séléka leader and self appointed President Michel Djotodia was not able to establish a stable government. In September last year the Christian militia fought back brutally. Since then there is anarchy. Looting, murder and rape occur daily. There is no functioning police force anymore and the soldiers can only protect single areas, such as the airport of Bangui. There some 100,000 refugees seek shelter from the violence. In total more than one million people are fleeing. The region is a crisis area. It is questionable if the new interim President Catherin Samba-Panza will be able to deescalate the situation. She has a very difficult task ahead since the state has broken down and the hate on both sides is great.
In Bangui the French army is present everywhere. But not far away from the relatively safe capital there are several totally looted, burned down and left villages, which were attacked and burned down by the Séléka militias. The living together of the two religions over generations was totally damaged within one year; a common future seems far away as the violations and deviations on both sides are too deep. Moslem inhabitants, who generations ago came from the North and from Chad are now fleeing and are attacked frequently. Most of them were traders, their shops are now looted. The Christian inhabitants had escaped from the attacks into the nearby bush and now slowly return to their destroyed houses.
The Central African Republic with a very nice landscape is reach in reserves of gold, diamonds, uranium, coltan and ivory and would be able to be self sufficient with an adequate agriculture. But some big landowners, various rebel groups and mining companies have everything under control. The people are desperately poor. And the incompetent government is dealing with itself, so that neither wages are paid nor governmental programs can be planed. There are only a few doctors and educated nurses and experts. Almost 50 % of the people are younger than 15 years. Nobody would be starving if education and agriculture would be organized.