Reference : V-P-CF-E-00223
Date : 10/2008
Caption : Batangafo district, near Kambakota village. Portrait of a family who had to flee following fightings in their village.
Photographer : PENGILLEY, Teri
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : CR Royaume-Uni
Description :
The family has been lent a housse in the village and a small piece of land. The ICRC helped by providing them with household items such as cups, bowls and sleeping mats.


On what seemed a normal day in May, Alladoum Narcisse and his young family were tending to their cassava fields under a cloudless blue sky. All that changed when armed highwaymen arrived in their village and the young family fled, running for their lives.

In a country that has been affected by a long running conflict, the villages in the north are also victim to criminality with bandits looking for whatever they can steal. Some of the more extreme hgihwaymen burn the villages they have looted to leave a sense of terror.

"The men came to our village and set fire to everything, burning our houses and everything in them: clothes, food, seeds for planting, all our possessions, everything," said Alladoum.

Alladoum, his wife and their children fled with as much as they could carry. They lived in the bush for several months without proper shelter, food or clean water surviving only on roots and rain water. The family decided to relocate in another village. Although their new village felt safer, there were still difficulties to overcome.

"When we arrived in this village we had a lot of problems, all the basic things we needed for everyday life had gone so that was a real difficulty. Fortunately the Red Cross came and gave us some items. That really helped."

The International Committee of the Red Cross delivered humanitarian aid for the first time to 7,800 people living in the 26 villages in the north of the Central African Republic. The emergency supplies (tarpaulins, blankets, mosquito nets, buckets, soap, hoes, sleeping mats, clothing and household items) were delivered to people who had fled the fighting between government forces and armed groups in 2006 and 2007, and also to people such as Alladoum forced to flee by the attacks of highwaymen in May 2008.

"The shock of all the change has been hard for all of us, especially the children, but the support we have received from the people in the village here and from the ICRC has really helped and made the hardships easier," continued Alladoum

"As far as we are concerned, we feel that we have escaped death so we are grateful to have the life we live now, even if it is hard."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 3504x2336
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour