MINUSCA strongly condemns attack by the UPC and FPRC armed groups on hospital in Ippy Ouaka prefecture
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) strongly condemns the attack on a civilian hospital in Ouaka prefecture by the armed groups UPC (Mouvement pour l’Unité et la Paix en Centrafrique) and the FPRC (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique). The armed attack occurred on 12 December 2017 in the town of Ippy and resulted in the death of 17 civilians.
MINUSCA undertook a fact-finding mission in January 2018 that confirmed the deliberate targeting of civilians at the Ippy hospital. According to eyewitness accounts, UPC and FPRC combatants encircled the hospital on 12 December and opened fire indiscriminately on civilian personnel and patients, killing twelve men, one woman, three children, and one baby. The attackers then forced a group of civilians – primarily women and children – to accompany the combatants as they retreated towards the town by foot.
MINUSCA urges all armed groups to immediately cease all attacks against civilians and reminds all concerned actors of the special protective status accorded to hospitals and medical facilities under international humanitarian law. MINUSCA reminds the leaders of UPC and FPRC in Ippy, General Ahmat Wadal Woundal and Colonel Adam Mocktar respectively, that targeting hospitals, and using civilians as human shields, are grave violations of international human rights law and may also constitute war crimes. MINUSCA further urges UPC and FPRC leadership to take immediate measures to minimize civilian casualties and to discipline combatants who were involved in the Ippy incident or other attacks against civilians.
MINUSCA will share the conclusions of the fact-finding mission on the attack of the Ippy hospital with the Government and will support relevant authorities with any measures they deem appropriate for ensuring accountability for the crimes committed and for restoring state authority in Ippy. MINUSCA remains committed to working alongside the Government and local communities to promote stability in Ippy and its surroundings.