Attacks on hospitals in CAR condemned



By Godfrey Olukya 11-12-2013

After deadly attacks and threats inside hospitals in the Central
African Republic capital of Bangui, the international medical
humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans
Frontières (MSF) today called on all parties to the conflict to allow
the wounded and sick to safely obtain medical care, and for an end to
violence and threats against patients, civilians, and medical staff
throughout the country,Africa press has reported.

Summary executions were carried out by armed men inside Bangui’s
Amitié Hospital on December 5, according to medical staff and patients
who said they witnessed the attacks. MSF personnel observed at least
10 corpses lying in front of the hospital. The facility is no longer
operating because of the violence, but several patients remain there.
Meanwhile, tensions are high at Hospital Communitaire, where patients,
MSF staff, and Ministry of Health employees have been threatened and
pressured. MSF team members have had to step between armed men and
patients on several occasions.

“We are continuing our work, but the violence inside Hospital
Communautaire is unacceptable and constitutes a serious violation of
international humanitarian law,” said Thomas Curbillon, MSF head of
mission in Central African Republic. “It has an obvious impact on
medical treatment, slowing the delivery of care and leading hospital
staff to temporarily leave their posts. In addition, the violence
means that many wounded patients will probably not try to access
medical facilities.”

MSF emphasizes that all parties to the conflict in the CAR—in Bangui
and throughout the country—must respect the civilian population, and
medical facilities must be allowed to treat the wounded and ill
without discrimination. MSF calls for a ban on any armed presence in
health care facilities and a halt to attacks and threats on patients
and medical workers, including Central African and expatriate

“Aid deployment as we define it—neutral, impartial and
independent—cannot be provided in the face of threats and violence,”
said Curbillon.


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