Not enough safety – too little help: international community fails in refugee drama

Central African Republic: Only 14 percent of the necessary humanitarian aid covered

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demands more humanitarian aid and more safety for the civilian population in the embattled Central African Republic. "20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, the international community is now unable to act fast enough in the Central African Republic," said Ulrich Delius, the STP's Africa-consultant, in Goettingen on Wednesday. "Despite the dramatic appeals by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other aid organizations, there are not enough measures to effectively protect the civilian population and to provide adequate supplies." The United Nations estimated that about 551 million US dollars will be needed for the help programs – but the respective countries have so far only covered about 14 percent. "This is a shameful all-time low and a slap in the face for the people who are suffering from the civil war in their country."

The STP also urges the European Union to provide more humanitarian aid and development assistance, apart from sending the promised troops. "With an average age of population of only 19 years, there will no peace in the impoverished country without jobs and career prospects. In addition to the deployment of peacekeeping troops, the European Union must also advocate for reconciliation between Christians and Muslims."

65 years after the signing of the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, the international community is still not prepared to act accordingly when there is a risk of genocide crimes and violations of human rights. France reacted too late and was too hesitant in sending troops. Also, the Sangaris mission was ill-prepared and the hatred between the Christians and the Muslims in the country was underestimated, so the military objectives could not be achieved and the plans had to be changed completely. The French troops did not manage to prevent the displacement of more than 60,000 Muslims, but could at least avoid a large massacre.

"But the violence against civilians of all religious communities is still too severe to call the situation safe," said Delius. "The 5,300 African MISCA peacekeepers and the 2,000 French soldiers are in desperate need of reinforcements. Also, the troops must be joined to a single UN peacekeeping mission. A country three times the size of France cannot be secured by such few troops."