Last week, armed groups (anti-balakas and 3R elements) launched an offensive in the city, located 450 km northwest of Bangui. They tried to storm the Central African Army camp on Saturday as well as the camp of the United Nations mission, Minusca, but were pushed back. The offensive caused panic among the population. Several thousand people fled, some remained in their homes, others took refuge in the city’s various churches.
With our special correspondent in Bouar, Alexandra Brangeon
No match this Sunday in town Bouar. The streets have been empty, people are scared, residents say. Only a few ruthless went out to try to refuel.
About 5,000 people sought refuge in the various religious sites of the city, the cathedral, churches, seminars. For Father Sylvain, the humanitarian situation is worrying: “There are at least 500 women who go out very early in the morning to get bread, sugar and coffee. Otherwise, everything is closed. Difficult to put something in the mouth. While I’m talking to you, no NGO has arrived yet. ”
An important city for supplies
The cathedral is occupied by more than 1200 people. And the crowd keeps coming, explains the Bishop of Bouar, Monsignor Miroslaw Gucwa, but the situation will not last long, the displaced have no means of survival: “They will not be able to endure long, “They are obliged to stay, to stay, to stay here. In addition, the companies are on standby, the shops are closed and the road from Garoua-Boulaï to the capital via Bouar is still blocked by armed men, there is no convoy.”
Bouar is actually a strategic city located on a major road axis for the supply of Bangui from Cameroon.