The burning of the Ilovage camp in Central Africa and the expulsion of 8,500 displaced people

June 19, 2021
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) shelters IDPs from Ilovage camp Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) shelters IDPs from Ilovage camp

Vision, Daily Times, Doctors Without Borders, a non-governmental organization, issued a statement saying that about 8,500 displaced people were expelled from a temporary camp before it was burned in the fourth largest city in the Central African Republic, which is witnessing continuous fighting between rebels and government forces and their allies.

The organization explained that Eluvaj camp was sheltering people from semi-nomadic communities who sought refuge in it after fleeing before the last attack in December 2020, as fighting raged in several areas of the country.

"Thousands of people have taken refuge in a mosque in the town of Bambari, where they are living in very difficult conditions," says Médecins Sans Frontières.

The organization did not provide any explanation for the causes of the fire, but indicated that a clash occurred on the night of Friday, June 4, 2021, between "government forces" and "non-governmental armed groups near the camp."

Mahmoud added that the next day, "the soldiers arrived and ordered us to leave the site immediately," noting that "the residents of the surrounding areas took advantage of the situation to loot everything we had and took the goats by force and stole our mattresses. Soon after, the place was set on fire."

MSF teams in Bambari, whose health center was destroyed in the fire, have opened a new center inside the mosque, and other humanitarian organizations are also moving to provide assistance.

“It is essential that more latrines are built and that people have access to food and drinking water,” said Ryan Gastino, MSF's head of mission in the Central African Republic.

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