Around 15,000 people were displaced by violent attacks in Ouaka in mid-December. Many of those displaced sought shelter on the site of a Church and a separate health centre in the town of Ipply, around 220 miles north of the capital Bangui. Armed rebels, thought to be Seleka splinter groups, have threatened to attack the church site. The health centre has already been targeted, prompting around 7,000 of those displaced to flee into the bush.
A ceasefire between the government and 14 rebel groups agreed in June 2017 has failed to bring an end to violence in the country, which has been ravaged by conflict since Seleka Islamist groups temporarily overthrew the government in 2013. Despite the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping force, Christians communities continue to be targeted and have also been caught up in confrontations between Seleka-linked rebel groups and “anti-balaka” militia.