By Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa
DAKAR, 24 May 2019 – “UNICEF condemns the brutal killings of civilians during recent attacks by armed groups on villages in the northwest of the Central African Republic. The attacks left at least 54 people dead.
“This massacre marks a low point since the fragile peace and reconciliation process was agreed in February.
“Over the past six years, repeated attacks and violence against civilians have left 2.9 million people, or half of the country, in need of humanitarian assistance.
“Conditions on the ground remain extremely dangerous for children. They have been targeted by armed groups, caught in the crossfire and recruited to the fighting. The places children rely on for protection and support – schools, hospitals and places of worship – have also come under attack.
“Meanwhile, conflict has increased food insecurity and reduced access to healthcare. An estimated 43,000 children are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year and will be at imminent risk of death.
“UNICEF reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict to ensure that children are kept safe from the violence and to adhere to the peace agreement.”