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New surge of violence and larger numbers of IDPs

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Central African Republic
  • February 2018
New surge of violence and larger numbers of IDPs

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • There has been a new surge in clashes between armed groups and atrocities against civilian populations over the last twelve months in all parts of the country, particularly in southeastern, eastern, and northwestern areas of the country. As a result, the number of displaced persons jumped from 402,000 to 698,000 between January 2017 and January 2018, or by 74 percent. 

    • In addition to triggering population displacements, the lack of security and violence are limiting the humanitarian response and, in some cases, causing deliveries of assistance to be temporarily suspended. In fact, in less than one year, there have been more than 300 security incidents involving humanitarian actors and assets, causing the loss of 14 human lives. In addition, road traffic comes under regular attack by gangs of criminals and armed groups. 

    • The pressure from displaced populations on food and economic resources in receiving areas and the continued market disruptions, in many cases, marked by shortages of supplies and rises in prices, will expose displaced populations and poor host populations alike to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity through September 2018. 





    • Proliferation of hotbeds of tension with the growing numbers, dislodgment, or reorganization of armed groups
    • Destruction of crops by the livestock of, in some cases, armed transhumant pastoralists, causing clashes with farmers
    • Heightened vulnerability of populations affected by the repeated cycles of violence, weakening their livelihoods based mainly on farming and livestock raising
    • Smaller areas planted in crops and, thus, less crop production with the limited access to farmland
    • Shortages of supplies on certain markets due to the deterioration in the condition of road infrastructure with the onset of the rainy season and the frequent acts of looting by gangs of criminals
    • Harsher and earlier than usual lean season with the decline in food stocks and the more limited income-generating capacity of affected households

    DPs, returnees, and host households in the northwest, and the east

    • Limitation or suspension of humanitarian operations in certain areas due to the lack of security
    • Most displaced persons (68 percent) are living with host communities, 25 percent are lodged at DP camps, and the remainder are hiding out in the bush.
    • Volatile food prices
    • Heavy pressure on local resources, particularly pastures and forest products
    • Larger numbers of people lodged at DP camps, living with host households, and living out in the brush, which could increase needs for assistance
    • Fewer market supplies in conflict areas
    • Higher food prices
    • Poorer food consumption by DPs and host households with the depletion of their food stocks and their limited financial access


    The still active armed groups and high rates of crime in many areas of the country are creating an extremely volatile security situation. This past December, violent clashes between rival armed groups in Ouaham Pendé prefecture displaced approximately 65,000 people, mainly to the city of Paoua, increasing the size of its population by 163 percent. Just recently, the repeated acts of violence and atrocities committed by armed individuals against humanitarian actors in western (Berberati prefecture) and eastern (Haute-Kotto, Ouaka, and Basse-Kotto prefectures) areas of the country led to the suspension of deliveries of assistance to DP camps.

    Shipments along major roads still in reasonably good conditions are regularly attacked by armed groups, resulting in shortages of market supplies and volatile prices for staple foods. December prices for cassava and rice on the Bouar market for example (in the western part of the country) were up by 100 percent and 25 percent, respectively, from the same month of the previous year. The Berberati market (in the west) and the Bria market in the east) are showing the highest prices for maize (at 270 XOF/kg) and cooking oil (at 1250 XOF/liter), respectively.   

    Adding to the pressure from displaced populations on socioeconomic resources in receiving areas, the new surge in violence is limiting the access of farmers to their land and, thus, reducing food availability and the incomes of host populations facing an earlier than usual lean season beginning by the month of April. In addition, transhumant pastoralists in western and northwestern areas of the country returning from neighboring Cameroon earlier than usual are having difficulty gaining access to migration corridors occupied by armed groups, leading to the destruction of cassava crops by livestock and clashes with more vulnerable farmers. The continuing reprisals against civilian populations at this time of year devoted to land preparation work for upcoming crop planting activities in April could hamper the start-up of these farming activities and reduce the size of areas planted in crops for the fourth consecutive year.

    Thus, the steady deterioration in livelihoods, the increasingly limited food access due to shortages of market supplies and rising prices, and the growing numbers of displaced persons with the expansion in high-tension areas are the main contributing factors to the continued Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity faced by displaced and poor host populations in the country’s southeastern, eastern, and northwestern regions through the month of September. There will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of acute food insecurity in other areas with better access to humanitarian assistance. 

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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