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RETROSPECTIVE MORTALITY STUDY REVEALS MASSIVE LEVELS OF DEATH DUE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST MUSLIMS DURING THE PEAK OF THE CONFLICT IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 19 February 2014, Garoua-Boulaï, Cameroon. Alima is 25 years old. She is from Berberati. She hid several days at her neighborís before seeking refuge in a church. She was stabbed as she was entering the car wich was going to transport her. “I didn’t see who did that”. The religious community of Berberati took care of her. Her family fled to the North of Cameroon. She couldnít follow. She is now on her own in Garoua-Boulaï. Photo: Laurence Hoenig/MSF

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Retrospective Mortality study reveals massive levels of death due to violence against Muslims during the peak of the conflict in Central African Republic. A retrospective mortality survey conducted by MSF between March 26 and April 8, 2014

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  • RETROSPECTIVE MORTALITY STUDY REVEALS MASSIVE LEVELS OF DEATH DUE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST MUSLIMS DURING THE PEAK OF THE CONFLICT IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    19 February 2014, Garoua-Boula, Cameroon.Alima is 25 years old. She is from Berberati. She hid several days at her neighbors before seeking refuge in a church. She was stabbed as she was entering the car wich was going to transport her. I didnt see who did that. The religious community of Berberati took care of her. Her family fled to the North of Cameroon. She couldnt follow. She is now on her own in Garoua-Boula. Photo: Laurence Hoenig/MSF

  • A retrospective mortality study conducted by the international medical humanitarian organisation Mdecins Sans Frontires/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) among Central African refugees in Sido, Chad, reveals extreme levels of death during a violent crackdown against the Central African Republics (CAR) Muslim minority. The study found that one in three families surveyed had lost at least one family member between November 2013 and April 2014. The survey documented that 2,208 people died while still in CAR, of which 95 percent died from gunshot, machete, grenade, or other blast wounds.

    Between December 2013 and January 2014, several hundred thousand people fled abuse and violence in CAR, seeking refuge in Chad and Cameroon, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Epicentre, MSFs epidemiological research centre, conducted interviews with 3,449 refugee families in Sido to understand the levels of violence during the period of November 2013 to April 2014. The survey revealed that 2,599 members of those families which were initially made up of 32,768 people died. Thirty-three percent of the families surveyed had lost at least one member. Twenty-eight percent had lost at least two. More than half (57%) of the families interviewed in Sido were originally from Bangui, the place of departure of most of the refugee convoys.

    The shocking levels of violence documented in our study should not leave the impression that the worst is over, said Dr. Mego Terzian, president of MSF. MSF teams continue to work inside enclaves in the Central African Republic where thousands of people remain trapped, protected by international forces, but with no chance to escape.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY 17 JULY, 2014

    Retrospective Mortality Study Reveals Massive Levels of Death Due to Violence Against Muslims During Peak of Conflict in Central African Republic

    With Thousands Still Encircled in Enclaves, Chad Border Closed, and Massive Gaps in Aid for Central African Refugees, Crisis in Central African Republic Is Far from Over

    Nearly 85 percent of those who died in CAR before any attempt to flee were men (1,863). However, the violence did not spare women, children or the elderly. Two hundred and nine children under 15 and 227 people over the age of 60 died because of violence.

    The survey data and the statements gathered by MSF teams in CAR, Chad, and Cameroon highlight the breadth of the violence that the populations experienced both in the CAR and as they fled the country. Three hundred and twenty two people died during the transfer to Chad. Seventy-eight percent of these deaths are attributable to violence.

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  • Today, nearly the entire Muslim population in the western half of the CAR has left in just a few months. Several enclaves under the protection of armed international forces in Bangui, Carnot, Boda, and Berberati still shelter a few thousand Muslims, although their living conditions are very precarious and they have few prospects. Now confined in ghettos, this portion of the Central African population still faces daily threats.

    On July 7, an attack and fighting around a Bambari church housing displaced people resulted in five deaths and many wounded. Most people believe it is too dangerous to go to the hospital or move around town. While the hospital remains functional, there is little access to it, and MSF has referred 14 emergency cases by aircraft and ambulances to hospitals in Bangui and Bria. The situation around Boguila, in the northwest, remains volatile and lawless. In the past few weeks, local communities have been violently targeted by groups of armed bandits entering the area, with more than 10,000 people now displaced.

    The Chadian governments decision, in May, to close its border and the inadequate humanitarian aid deployed in Cameroon impede Central Africans from seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. In June, MSF teams recorded more than 1,700 new arrivals in Sido. They included people arriving from CAR or from other transit camps in Chad, who had come to join the family members from whom they had been separated. Some had to pay to cross or walk for hours to find more permeable crossing points. Others came under fire.

    On June 13, four people were killed as they tried to cross the river, heading for Sido. On July 3, 100 people, victims of an attack on their village in the CAR, were not allowed to cross into Sido. At least five of them were wounded by gunfire during the attack, including a woman and three children. They had to walk for 24 hours before reaching Bethel, a Chadian border town, where MSF treated them and transported them to the Gor hospital, after negotiating with the authorities, who finally approved the transfer.

    After several months of displacement, the Central Africans who reach Cameroon arrive exhausted and traumatised. Their health status is alarming, particularly in terms of nutrition, with nearly half of the children suering from malnutrition.

    There are still massive deficits in the distribution of aid to the hundreds of thousands who managed to escape the violence and reach Chad or Cameroon, said Dr. Terzian. The bare minimum that can be done for this population that has suered incredible violence, lost family members, and been uprooted from their homes, is to provide them with humanitarian assistance.

    MSF has been working in CAR since 1997. More than 2,300 people work with MSF in medical-surgical projects located in more than 15 Central African towns. MSF also works in the Central African refugee camps in southern Chad and eastern Cameroon.

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  • Text

    23 January 2014, Chad.Tens of thousands have fled violence targeting Fulani and Muslims communities in northern Central African Republic and sought refuge in southern Chad. MSF has set up two programs in Sido and Bitoye to provide emergency medical care and basic non-food items.Photo: MSF

    With thousands still encircled in enclaves, the border with Chad closed, and a massive gap in aid for Central African refugees, the crisis in the Central African Republic is far from over Mdecins Sans Frontires

  • 10 December 2013, Bangui Airport, CAR.People flee their homes because of the violence and take refuge in either churches or at the airport. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced within the city due to the violence.Photo: Camille Lepage/Polaris Tex

  • 30 January 2014, Bossangoa, CAR.A convoy of trucks leaves Bossangoa as the Muslim community flees violence.Photo: MSF

    Text

  • 18 February 2014CAR refugees in Garoua-Boula, Cameroon.

    Photo: Laurence Hoenig/MSF

  • 19 February 2014, Garoua-Boulai, Cameroon.A refugee from Central African Republic exits the consultation tent in the district hospital.Photo: Laurence Hoenig/MSF

  • 12 December 2014, Bangui Airport, CARSince December 5, a wave of violence has swept through Bangui, the

    capital of the Central African Republic. Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) has treated 280 wounded in the Community Hospital. Most have injuries

    by gunshots or weapons like machetes and knives. More than 60 surgical operations were performed. More than 100 people are still hospitalized.

    Photo: Camille Lepage/Polaris

  • 24 February 2014, Chad.NDjamena Chagoua transit centre is hosting more than 1,470 people who have fled CAR.Photo: Jason Mills/MSF

  • 06 March 2014Refugees fleeing violence in CAR in southern Chad.Photo: Samantha Maurin /MSF

  • 11 June 2014, Carnot, CAR.In Carnot, around 900 Muslim IPDs are staying at the Catholic Church in crowded and unsanitary conditions, guarded by African Union soldiers from Cameroon. MSF provides medical care, water and food supply and sanitation.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 11 June 2014, Carnot, CARMuslim families seek refuge in the Cathic mission in Carnot, under the watch of peace-keeping troops from Cameroon.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 23 June 2014, Bangui Airport, Central African Republic.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 23 June 2014, Mpoko, CARPatients awaiting consultation at MSF clinic in Mpoko IDP camp.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 21 June 2014, Bangui, CARPK5 Muslim neighborhood of Bangui

    Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 21 June 2014, Bangui, CARThe PK5 Muslim neighborhood of Bangui is patrolled by

    French peace-keeping troops.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 16 June 2014, Berberati, CARMother and their children at an MSF ambulatory feeding centre in Berberati Regional University Hospital.Photo: Yann Libessart/MSF

  • 10 July 2014, Gbiti Camp, Cameroon.Since February many people have left the camp, some taken in by

    family (refugees who arrived in Cameroon years ago) and many others have been moved to other camps further inside Cameroon.

    Photo: Daniel Barney

  • 16 June 2014, Gibiti, Cameroon.Adamou Mohamadou, 30 years old

    with his son Mohamad Nour, 7. Weve been here in Gbiti for a

    month. His mother is still in Gbiti with our three other children.

    My son and I were transferred to the hospital in Bertoua on

    15 June. We left CAR because of an attack on Zawa where we lived [in

    CAR]. We walked for three months. My son was only drinking milk so

    when the cows died, he did not have anything to eat. I dont know

    what will happen next - we are waiting for the Cameroonian

    Government to decide what our fate will be.

    Photo: Daniel Barney

    Text

  • Retrospective Mortality Study Reveals Massive Levels of Death Due to Violence Against Muslims During Peak of Conflict in Central African Republic

    MSF Central African Republic Mortality Study: http://bit.ly/1tUGYfT

    Download photography and video B-rollhttp://bit.ly/1yvjYmx

    Photographs, video and published reports from Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) are available for immediate publication.

    Register and login to the MSF Media Library to browse and download photography and video B-roll from this and all our projects worldwide.

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