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Heavy fighting resumes in Bria despite peace agreement

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Bangui, Central African Republic – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams witnessed the resumption of fighting today in Bria, a town in the east of Central African Republic (CAR), despite the peace agreement signed yesterday between the government and different politico-military groups active in the country.

“Intense shooting started at 6am today; by 9:30am, we had already received 35 wounded patients at the hospital, mostly with gunshot wounds,” said Mumuza Muhindo Musubaho, MSF project coordinator in Bria. An MSF ambulance went to the neighbourhood affected by the fighting to transport the wounded back to the hospital.

MSF teams in Bangassou and Alindao also reported sporadic gunfire earlier in the day. The security situation in the country remains extremely volatile.

As donors meet in Bangui today to discuss funding for humanitarian assistance in CAR, MSF reiterates the urgent need to scale up the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance. Although MSF activities in CAR are financed by private donors, additional funding is needed for other humanitarian actors to provide assistance where it is needed most.

MSF has worked in CAR since 1997, delivering emergency medical care to those most in need across the country. In 2016, MSF provided 947,000 medical consultations (in a country of 4.6 million people), treated 580,000 people for malaria, administered 490,000 vaccines and assisted over 21,000 births. MSF relies 100 per cent on private donors for its work in CAR.

It would not be possible for MSF to work in the country without warring parties’ respect for the safety and protection of medical facilities, staff, patients, and referral and ambulance services.