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No aid for Bangui wounded as hospitals run dry

Video by Sarah Sakho

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-28

Days after Seleka rebels seized the Central African Republic in a deadly 48-hour offensive, victims of the violence are struggling to get help in the capital with hospitals lacking medicine, equipment and even water. FRANCE 24 reports.

Almost a week after Seleka rebels began a swift two-day assault on the capital of the Central African Republic, victims of the violence continue to pour into the city's hospitals. But with scarce water, electricity and medicine supplies, doctors say there is little they can do to help the wounded.

Despite the return of a semblance of normalcy to the capital, Bangui, the city’s hospitals are struggling to provide even the most basic care for victims, most of whom have suffered gunshot wounds.

Nurse Eric Gonda of the Bangui Community Hospital told FRANCE 24 that he was forced to refuse water to a man who had received a head injury. “He asked to be cleaned with some water. I told him unfortunately there’s no more water in the hospital,” he said. “That is why you will see all the patients here are in a very poor state.”

The local head of Doctors Without Borders describes the dire situation in Bangui

A doctor visiting the hospital, Edmond Djinhiba of Doctors Without Borders, told FRANCE 24 that the situation was desperate. “If nothing is done urgently in the following days, the hospital will be faced with a disaster, a major humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.

Medical supplies looted

The Red Cross has said that the violence over the weekend had left “a large number of dead and wounded” in the capital. But medical workers from the organisation were unable to begin operations in the city after looters stripped aid depots holding equipment and food.

Looters took to the streets after Seleka rebels seized control of the impoverished nation following the collapse of a fragile two-month-old peace deal, forcing the president, Francois Bozize, into exile. The Seleka coalition's leader, Michel Djotodia, has proclaimed himself president until 2016.

The Seleka rebels under Djotodia say they are tracking down snipers and looters in order to restore order to the capital.

Date created : 2013-03-28

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