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60,000 people fled CAR violence in one week- UNHCR

60,000 people fled CAR violence in one week- UNHCR
60,000 people fled violence in CAR in just one week.   -  
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Central African Republic

The number of people who have fled violence in the Central African Republic CAR since December "doubled in one week" to reach 60,000 people,

This is according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

On Friday at a press briefing in Geneva, the agency said over 10,000 people crossed the Ubangi River to seek refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo on January 13 alone.

In one month, 9,000 people from the Central African Republic also sought refuge in Congo, Chad, and Cameroon.

It called for an "immediate cessation of all violence in the Central African Republic" (CAR) and "the immediate return of all parties to meaningful dialogue and progress towards peace".

Some 58,000 are displaced in the Central African Republic itself, according to the Commission on Population Movements.

Meanwhile, humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières, known more as 'Doctors Without Borders' says its teams in Bangui treated 12 people for violence-related injuries on January 13.

In a statement, the group explained that beyond the direct victims of the current violence, people across the country (Central African Republic) find themselves with reduced access to essential medical services as a result of the growing insecurity. 

"On 13 January, just 14 pregnant women arrived at Bangui’s Castor maternity hospital, where MSF teams provide emergency obstetric care, compared to a daily average of more than 30", its statement read.

It stressed that as clashes escalate between coalition armed groups and government forces, in violence linked to the electoral process, the security and humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly in the Central African Republic.

On December 19, eight days before the presidential and legislative elections, a coalition of six of the most powerful armed groups, called the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), which has controlled two-thirds of the Central African Republic since the start of the civil war in 2013, announced an offensive to prevent the re-election of Faustin Archange Touadéra.

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