‘Dramatic’ rise in Central African Republic violence happening out of media eyes

The Central African Republic (CAR) has spiralled into violence and remains one of the worst countries in the world to be a child and “right now there are few eyes looking at them and few hands trying to help,” the United Nations children’s agency said today.

“The past year, and especially the last quarter, has seen a dramatic increase in violence,” Donaig Le Du, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told reporters at the regular press briefing in Geneva.

“There are now an estimated 600,000 internally displaced people, up from 440,000 at the end of April – a big increase in the past 2-3 months,” she continued, pointing out that 600,000 was the April 2014 count, right after the peak of the crisis.

“And there are still 480,000 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries. So out of an estimated population of a little over five million, one in five is either a refugee or displaced, half of them children,” Ms. Le Du added.

UNICEF noted that as the country spirals into violence, Bangui, the capital, is quiet.

“The roads are bad, and with the rainy season and insecurity, it becomes nearly impossible to travel. There is limited cell phone coverage,” the spokesperson explained.