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Seleka soldiers in CAR December 6 2013 REUTERS EMMANUEL BRAUN_3

Source: Radio Dabanga

Bembere camp for Sudanese refugees in the Central African Republic (CAR) was attacked and plundered by opposition forces on Monday.

Camp Sheikh Abdel Rahman Ismail told Radio Dabanga that “about 150 militants of the opposition” attacked the camp at 6 am, beat the Darfuri and Sudanese refugees with fists and rifle butts, and looted everything the refugees were carrying, including money, mobiles, and livestock.

“The French air force flew in the skies and bombed the rebels after they had left the camp,” Ismail claimed. He added that all of the camp residents took refuge in the school and the hospital when they were reached by reports of the opposition mobilising for a second time nearby.

He appealed to the United Nations and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to speed up the provision of protection, and to move the 2,200 refugees to another safe country. The Bembere refugees suffer from a severe shortage of food and medicines since relief organisations left the camp.

Conflict, insecurity in CAR

The Sudanese government announced on 21 June that it will try to convince the Darfuris living in Bembere to return to Sudan. A delegation arrived in Bangui that day and provided food and medical assistance to the refugees.

The residents of the Bembere camp have been living in fear and terror because of the rampant security in the country. An insurgency in the CAR led by Seleka (or “alliance”)—a coalition of armed groups—has resulted in the severe deterioration of the country’s security infrastructure and heightened ethnic tensions. In March 2013, Seleka seized the capital city of Bangui, after launching an offensive against the CAR government in December 2012. The CAR has witnessed a surge in human rights violations, alleged war crimes, increasing tensions between Christians and Muslims, intra-Seleka fighting, and the arrival of foreign fighters from Chad and Sudan.

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