Bureaucrats in a conflict zone

Bureaucrats in a conflict zone

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Viviane Rekoundet is the head of technology services at the national radio station of the Central African Republic, a country that has slipped into chaos since mainly Muslim rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat violence with the Christian majority.

In the midst of the turmoil, Rekoundet still comes to work. She is one of many civil servants struggling on with their jobs in a nation where institutions have all but fallen apart.

. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Doormen sit in the lobby of a building that houses the Ministries of Commerce and Education, which was ransacked and damaged during the March 2013 overthrow of the government, as well as during previous coups.

Civil servants in the Central African Republic were paid on November 29 for the first time in four months. They were last reimbursed in August, when a loan from Congo Republic ran out.

Their average salary amounts to roughly $80 per month, barely enough to get by even if paid on schedule.

. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Customs tax receipts from previous years stand piled up at the National Treasury in Bangui, which was looted during the coup.

The situation for workers is grim, said Flore Koyassambia-Nadege, a treasury clerk: “We come to work with famine. We’re in debt. When we get our salaries they just go to pay our debt and then we go back to our lives of suffering…at this point there’s no longer a state.”

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A soldier guards the entrance of the currently defunct national television headquarters.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A soldier guards the entrance of the currently defunct national television headquarters.

The station has not been running since the March 2013 coup.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The station has not been running since the March 2013 coup.

The television station's offices and studios lie empty.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The television station's offices and studios lie empty.

Journalists work in the newsroom of the radio's headquarters.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Journalists work in the newsroom of the radio's headquarters.

A woman reads in a former computer lab at the national radio station.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A woman reads in a former computer lab at the national radio station.

Julio Itade, programs director at the radio station, poses for a picture in his office.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Julio Itade, programs director at the radio station, poses for a picture in his office.

Radio technician Yves Mbonzi Damanzi sits in his workshop.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Radio technician Yves Mbonzi Damanzi sits in his workshop.

A woman looks out of a window at the national radio headquarters.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A woman looks out of a window at the national radio headquarters.

Juliette Toby (right) and Natasha Denguie, who are secretaries at the radio station, pose for a picture in Toby's office.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Juliette Toby (right) and Natasha Denguie, who are secretaries at the radio station, pose for a picture in Toby's office.

Director of the national radio station Pauline Gueregouendo Gbianza receives a guest in her office.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Director of the national radio station Pauline Gueregouendo Gbianza receives a guest in her office.

A woman works at her desk at the Ministry of Education.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A woman works at her desk at the Ministry of Education.

Kaltouma Abderaman, private secretary to the Minister of Health, poses for a picture.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Kaltouma Abderaman, private secretary to the Minister of Health, poses for a picture.

Christian Diamant Mossoro-Kpinde, director of the national medical laboratory, holds up lab materials which were damaged in looting during the March 2013 coup.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Christian Diamant Mossoro-Kpinde, director of the national medical laboratory, holds up lab materials which were damaged in looting during the March 2013 coup.

Men stand in front of the entrance to the Ministry of Mines, Petrol, Energy and Hydraulics.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Men stand in front of the entrance to the Ministry of Mines, Petrol, Energy and Hydraulics.

Minister of Mines, Petrol, Energy and Hydraulics, Herbert Gotran Djono-Ahaba sits in his office.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Minister of Mines, Petrol, Energy and Hydraulics, Herbert Gotran Djono-Ahaba sits in his office.

Interns at the National Treasury pose for a picture at their desks.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Interns at the National Treasury pose for a picture at their desks.

A man walks in front of the National Treasury building.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A man walks in front of the National Treasury building.

Municipal officials attend a swearing-in ceremony for new workers at City Hall.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Municipal officials attend a swearing-in ceremony for new workers at City Hall.

People walk outside the City Hall building.
. BANGUI, Central African Republic. REUTERS/Joe Penney

People walk outside the City Hall building.