Close to 23 000 Central African Republic (CAR) nationals have fled unrest in the Equateur and Oriental Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Some 21 300 refugees of them are currently in the cities of Mobayi-Mbongo and Gbadolite in the North Ubangi district of Equateur.
The Oriental Province is housing close to 1200 CAR nationals, who are mainly living with host families in Ango (Bas-Uele district), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
But these numbers are expected to rise as many villages and cities are deserted and people have nothing to eat and drink, and as looting and rape are reportedly occurring in the abandoned areas.
It is believed that many more are currently living in camps in Chad, Cameroon and South Sudan.
The central Africa nation is under a strict curfew since Sunday after a successful coup d’état by the rebel coalition of Seleka toppled General Francois Bozize from power. Bozize also took power from a coup ‘etat in 2003, overthrowing Ange Felix Patassé.
OCHA said a multi-sectoral needs assessment to better prepare the humanitarian response has been made particularly in the areas of health, education, nutrition, food security and protection.
The Seleka forces have accused Bozize of corruption, dictatorship, detaining opposition politicians and free media, and not abiding by the terms of the peace deal signed last month in Libreville, Gabon.
*Photo by WFP.org