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CAR: Despite peace accord, thousands living with uncertainty

Less than one month on from signing a peace accord (the Libreville agreement), thousands are living with uncertainty in the Central African Republic. There is a risk of fighting breaking out and many remain displaced, unsure whether to return home.

"The effect of the Libreville agreement is not felt on the ground," says Gabriel Mukalai from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). "There's no phone network. People don't know what's going on or what's been discussed. It's as if there is no peace accord."

Signs of recent fighting are all around such as looted schools and damaged houses. Blandine Emara, a kindergarten teacher and mother of two, is too afraid to return home: "Since we left, I haven't returned. The last time I saw my house, the door was broken. They'd taken everything. I don't have the courage to return home."

Access to medical care is also difficult. For those in urgent need of care, the ICRC has been running emergency medical evacuations. It has been flying out injured fighters and civilians from northern Central African Republic to Bangui for treatment.

Many people are too afraid to farm their land. If this continues and the planting season is missed, there will be further food shortages. Farmer Achta Oumar and mother of four says: ‘We are really suffering here. Since this morning, we have not eaten anything. Our children are sleeping on the ground. It makes me want to cry."

The staff working for the water company have fled leaving people without proper drinking water and sanitation. To prevent people getting sick, the ICRC stepped in to run the water treatment and supply in Ndele, a major town in northern Central African Republic. "With a massive influx of people, access to proper latrines was very important. There was a great risk of epidemics without decent sanitation," explains Gabriel Mukalai.

The ICRC is currently supplying 18,000 litres of clean water daily to around 1,000 displaced people in Ndélé, with the support of volunteers from the Central African Red Cross.

For the latest facts and figures:
www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/africa/central-african-
republic/index.jsp

SHOTLIST (ALSO AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD)
Location: Ndélé, Central African Republic
Date: 20 and 21 January 2013
Length: 3:58
Format: Mpeg2 / 16:9 / SD
Production: Nawaz Shah
Camera: Serge Kossouate Belalengbi
Sound: French and Sango
ICRC ref: AV055N CAR Displaced
Copyright: ICRC access all

0:00 Various of Medical evacuation of wounded from Ndélé Aerodrome (wide of ICRC plane, ICRC car reversing towards plane, wounded man boarding plane and two shots of ICRC plane taking off)
0:32 Various of Looted school (exterior wide shot of school and two shots of looted and vandalised rooms)
0:49 SOUNDBITE Gabriel Mukalai, Head of Ndélé sub-delegation, ICRC (in French)
"The effect of the Libreville agreement is not felt on the ground. There is no phone network. People don't know what's going on or what's been discussed. It's as if there is no peace accord."
01:09 Wide shot of displaced children
01:23 SOUNDBITE Blandine Emara, kindergarten teacher (in French)
"After the gun shots, we were quite scared. We left our home and spent a week in the bush sleeping on the grass. Then we came here."
01:32 Wide of displaced people.
01:44 SOUNDBITE Blandine Emara, kindergarten teacher (in French)
"Since we left, I haven't returned. I just went twice to get my belongings. The last time I saw my house, the door to was broken. They took everything. I don't have the courage to return there."
01:58 Shot of mother and child and close-up of child
02:10 SOUNDBITE: Achta Oumar, farmer, (Language -Sango)
‘‘We are really suffering here. Since this morning, we have not eaten anything. Our children are sleeping on the ground. It makes me want to cry."
02:18 Various at Ndélé Aerodrome: (Wide of tent and displaced persons, two shots of displaced lady cooking)
02:38 Shot of ICRC water truck
02:49 Two shots of water treatment
03:05 Shot of water tank at Ndélé Aerodrome
03:10 Displaced people getting water
03:16 SOUNDBITE Gabriel Mukalai, Head of Ndélé sub-delegation, ICRC (in French)
"The access to proper latrines was very important with a massive influx of people. Without proper latrines, there is a great risk of epidemics. Without water, people cannot survive."
03:35 - 03:56 Various of displaced people getting water.

For further information, please contact:
Vincent Pouget, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 75 64 30 07
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 17

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