GENEVA, Switzerland, February 11, 2014 – IOM facilitated two charter flights this weekend to repatriate Chadian nationals escaping violence in the Central African Republic (CAR).
These are the last IOM evacuation flights scheduled out of Bangui, as funds for evacuations by air are now exhausted. The operation will be suspended until further funding is available.
The two flights on 8 and 9 February evacuated a total of 609 vulnerable people, including the elderly, young children and medical cases. The oldest Chadian migrants at the transit site were selected for the 8 February flight to Chad. All families on the 9 February flight had at least one child below 2 years or a serious medical case. Of the 318 people on board the Sunday 9 February flight, there were 78 children under the age of five years.
There are still over 2,000 third country nationals (TCNs) sheltering at the Military Airport Transit Center, most of whom are requesting evacuation assistance to neighbouring countries. This week IOM is registering small groups of TCNs who may eventually be returned to their homes on commercial flights.
IOM is also continuing to operate a mobile health clinic at the Military Airport Transit site and at displacement sites around Bangui. IOM medical staff have already treated many conflict-related injuries at the Military Airport site.
IOM has received several requests from embassies in Bangui and in neighbouring countries for help to evacuate their nationals from the CAR, including the numbers of people who need help. This week IOM will also try to determine the number of TNCs stranded in the rest of the country in need of assistance.