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UNHCR Central African Republic Situational Emergency Update - 21 January 2021

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As of 20 January 2021, over 84,000 individuals are thought to have fled from the Central African Republic (CAR), where the situation continues to deteriorate since violence erupted amid the 27 December 2020 presidential election.

The most rapid increase in new arrivals is in Bas Uele and NorthUbangui provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where an estimated 74,000 individuals are being hosted in local communities or staying in makeshift shelters.

UNHCR operations in Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo and DRC are scaling up their field presence and working closely with national authorities, and partners to address the needs of the new arrivals.

Operational Context

Political and security situation in Central African Republic

■ The escalating violence surrounding the presidential and legislative elections held on 27 December 2020 in CAR has triggered a growing refugee influx into neighboring countries. As of 19 January 2020, over 84,000 individuals are thought to have fled CAR into Cameroon (4,891), Chad (4,858) and the Republic of Congo (388) and the DRC (an estimated 74,179).

■ The figures reported for DRC are based on estimates provided by local authorities and UNHCR teams are currently planning a registration exercise to have a more accurate count of the new arrivals and to better assess their protection needs.

■ In its press release of 20 January 2021, OCHA announced that some 100,000 persons remain internally displaced within CAR as a direct result of the post-electoral violence and the ongoing tensions.

■ The Constitutional court announced on 18th January the decision to uphold the re-election of President Touadéra with a 53.16% absolute majority. They court is still reviewing the parliamentary election results and will issue their judgment latest the 28th January, confirming the date of a potential 2nd round parliamentary election.

■ The security situation remains tense in Bangui and the rest of the country with reports of abuses by armed groups, including of sexual violence, being gathered by UNHCR and its partners. In this context, further displacement within CAR and into neighboring countries is expected in the near future.

■ The disruption of the main supply route prevents the safe and timely delivery of critical humanitarian and other commercial supplies in CAR. Prices of essential commodities including fish, Oil, have risen by more than 50%, with a devastating impact on the protection and well-being of civilians, including IDPs and refugees.