Bambari, Central African Republic – Civilians who have been repeatedly forced to flee attacks; health facilities that are regularly targeted; war orphans surviving in the streets and women who are forced to deliver babies in extreme conditions.
The town of Bambari has been hugely marked by the effect of violence that has long plagued the Central African Republic (CAR).
Renewed fighting swept over CAR after a December 2020 presidential election once again brought the country to a breaking point. Clashes between non-state armed groups and government forces backed by foreign troops restarted, leading to the highest level of displacement since 2014. Violence against civilians is widespread, and access for humanitarian organisations has shrunk in many areas, exacerbating the already extreme vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of people.
In the summer of 2021, photojournalist Lys Arango visited the country to document the suffering of ordinary people caught up in the conflict. She accompanied teams from the medical humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF) in Bambari, CAR’s fourth largest city and one of the areas hit hardest by the latest wave of violence.