Bangui on the brink as thousands seek protection from violence

By Susanna Flood, Amnesty International’s Director of Media

What do you say to a grieving widow whose two sons have just been killed and who has 15 grandchildren at home to look after?

How do you respond when the children with whom you have just been laughing and joking – who fled with their families to a rapidly growing camp for displaced people – tell you they are hungry and haven’t eaten for two days?

How should you feel when you watch a seething mass of humanity taking refuge in desperate conditions because they feel safer there than in their homes?

What should you say when a chill goes through you as you hear people, time and time again, blame the Muslims or the Christians for their plight?

There are no easy answers to these questions but this is the reality in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic today. Conditions are desperate. And people are very afraid.

Continue reading this on CNN’s Global Public Square blog.

Read more:

Central African Republic: International community must ensure effective protection of civilians (News story, 9 December 2013)
Bangui, besieged by violence and fear (Blog, 6 December 2013)
Escalating bloodshed and reported revenge killings in Central African Republic (News story, 5 December 2013)
Central African Republic: UN must not let peacekeepers fail (News story, 5 December 2013)