Closure of Mpoko camp, Bangui.
The IDP camp of Mpoko, in Bangui, has closed. MSF has run a project in this camp for three years, and has therefore closed it too. At the peak of the violence in CAR in 2013-2014 up to 100.000 people found refuge along the runway of Bangui’s international airport, under the protection of the UN forces (providing for striking visuals that were largely reported on by international media). In December around 20.000 people were remaining in the camp.
The closure is a highly symbolic announcement to give a message of stabilization of the country by closing the most high profile of the IDP camps, even though 380.000 CAR citizens are still internally displaced in the country, and 468.000 outside of the country. It was also a large, three years long, iconic MSF operation that received large media attention (for CAR), due both to its relatively easy access and its striking visuals; as such it deserves some light shed for institutional memory.
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