Red Cross officials in the Central African Republic (CAR) announced on Monday, June 26, that an unidentified armed group shot and killed a Red Cross employee in Bangassou on Friday, June 23. The worker was reportedly on duty at a Red Cross compound when the attack took place. The Central African Red Cross Society has launched an investigation into the incident.
Friday's attack marks the first killing of a Red Cross worker in CAR since 2014, when one of the organization's drivers was killed. Last week's assassination took place just days after the government of CAR signed an "immediate ceasefire" agreement with 13 out of 14 rebel groups on June 19. Despite the ceasefire, clashes have been reported in the town of Bria since June 20, killing at least 50 people.
Religious conflicts have ravaged CAR since December 2013. Bangui especially has been gripped by deadly clashes between the Christian Anti-Balaka and Muslim FPRC militias. The conflict has led to hundreds of deaths, created almost 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and pushed more than 500,000 people to seek refuge in the neighboring countries of Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad.
Many Western governments advise against travel to the CAR due to these and other security concerns. Travel should only be considered with proper security protocols in place.