World Bulletin / News Desk
Doctors without Borders (MSF) on Monday said it would suspend its non-emergency activities in the Central African Republic and in neighboring countries, citing a recent spate of attacks against staff members.
At a conference in Bangui, the French-founded humanitarian aid agency said it had already withdrawn its personnel from Boguila, 450km north of the capital, following the death of 16 staff members in an April 26 attack in the city.
While there was no claim of responsibility, the MSF said it would not resume its activities in the violence-prone country unless the attack was explicitly condemned by local governmental and non-governmental agencies.
On April 28, MSF chief Stefano Argenziano expressed his "deep shock" over the violence targeting medical personnel.
He lashed out at the attack, which was on a building bearing a sign clearly identifying it as a medical institution.
The MSF is the only NGO currently operating in Boguila.
The organization says it has been running a 115-bed hospital and offering first and secondary aid to the city's roughly 45,000 inhabitants.
The Central African government, for its part, has yet to comment on the French NGO's decision to suspend its local operations.
The mineral-rich landlocked country descended into anarchy one year ago when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Christian president Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.
According to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), around 173,000 people have been internally displaced since last December, while 37,000 others have fled to neighboring countries.
Over 30,000 have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, while Chad has received 5600 and Cameroon roughly 1000, according to UNHCR figures.Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2014, 16:29