COMMONS

Escalating crisis in Central African Republic: evidence session

03 December 2013

The International Development Committee is to hold a short notice session on the UK Government position on the escalating crisis in the Central African Republic on Tuesday 3 December.

Witnesses

Tuesday 3 December, the Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.45am

Department for International Development

  • Lynne Featherstone MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development
  • Andrew McCoubrey, Deputy Head of Africa Regional Department
  • Rt Hon Stephen O'Brien MP, Special Envoy for the Sahel, FCO

Purpose of the session

This session was set up at short notice in order to obtain a UK Government position on the escalating crisis in the Central African Republic. CAR has been in turmoil since rebels seized power in March and a Muslim-Christian civil war now seems likely. The UN deputy secretary general has warned the country is descending into "complete chaos" and called for urgent action to tackle the emerging humanitarian crisis.

Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce, Chair of the Committee, said:

“Since the coup in March, key agencies working in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been telling us that a major tragedy is unfolding in the Central African Republic. There are allegations that this could fuel genocide. The latest information suggests that violence against innocent civilians is now reaching levels sufficient to provoke a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions.

 

We are holding this evidence session with the Minister as a matter of urgency so that we can explore fully the scope for the UK to provide significantly more assistance for the huge numbers of displaced people.... At a time when we have pledged £500 million to help drive effective humanitarian relief in Syria, we need to question whether the £5 million pledged so far for CAR is enough.”

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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