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mia farrow

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December 15, 2009

UN peacekeepers sent to protect refugees and aid workers in Sam Ouandja, CAR

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 14 -- UN peacekeepers were sent on Monday to protect a camp of refugees from Sudan's Darfur region in the northeast of the Central African Republic (CAR) and humanitarian staff working there, UN officials said here.

The United Nations took the step after an attack, apparently by bandits, left three people dead on a nearby road in the region.

The mission, known by the acronym MINURCAT, added that it was following the situation closely and would reinforce its military presence in Sam Ouandja if necessary.

CAR, especially its northeast, has been plagued by armed rebels and bandits for years, a situation exacerbated by the spill-over of the Darfur conflict. UN officials have repeatedly called for an end to attacks on civilians that have seen scores of thousands of people driven into the bush, with scant means of sustenance, an appeal reiterated on Monday by the mission.
I took these pictures in Sam Ouandja, not long after the 4000 refugees came in, on foot from Darfur where their villages had been attacked. Sam Ouandja is right on the Darfur/CAR border. It is a very volatile area-as is all of the north east and the north west of CAR.
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