News / Africa

    Cameroon Denies Diplomatic Row With Nigeria Over Ebola

    • The local market does business as usual despite fears of the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia,  Aug. 19, 2014. 
    • Children surround a man suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 19, 2014. 
    • A health worker carries gloves at an Ebola treatment center, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
    • Liberian police are deployed at an Ebola treatment center to provide security, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
    • A woman reads a fact sheet for the Ebola virus during an awareness campaign in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 15, 2014. 
    • Liberian policemen dressed in riot gear disperse a crowd of people that blocked a main road after the body of someone suspected of dying from the Ebola virus was left in the street by health workers, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 14, 2014.
    • A poster displaying a government message against Ebola is displayed prominently at a maternity hospital, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aug. 14, 2014.
    Ebola Outbreak
    Peter Clottey

    Cameroon’s information minister says it is unlikely the country’s decision to close its border with neighboring Nigeria due to the ongoing Ebola crisis would undermine warm diplomatic relations between Yaoundé and Abuja.

    Issa Tchiroma said Cameroon had no choice but to close the border, admitting that the decision could have an adverse impact on Cameroon’s economy, since the Central African nation enjoys significant trade with Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest economy.

    There have been 12 confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria with at least four deaths.

    The World Health Organization estimates that about 1,350 people have so far died of Ebola, with about 2,473 confirmed cases. The West African countries battling Ebola include Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

    Tchiroma said Cameroon closed its border with Nigeria in a bid to protect citizens from the deadly disease.

    “The best way to address this issue given the fact that there is no medicine to curb this disease, the best way to address it is to close the border. But, this will not last forever,” said Tchiroma. “We it just because there is no other alternative, [and] we hope that  it will not last for more than two to three weeks.”        

    Some Cameroonians have expressed concern that Yaoundé’s decision to close its border could signal a lack of trust in Nigeria’s effort to curb the disease, which they contend could sour relations between the neighboring countries.

    Tchiroma disagreed, saying the decision to close the border was not ill-intentioned.

    “Abuja cannot blame Cameroon for taking the necessary precaution to protect the health and the lives of our people. We have to place the lives and health of our people above everything else and that is why the government has to do it,” said Tchiroma.

    Tchiroma outlined the importance of the “strong” trade relations with Nigeria after conceding that the decision could negatively have an impact on Cameroon’s economy.

    “We have the full knowledge of the consequences and inconvenience that this measure will cause to Cameroon but, we have no choice,” said Tchiroma. “We didn’t do it to harm our relations with Nigeria we didn’t do it to jeopardize the diplomatic relations with Nigeria…I am convinced [that] Nigeria politicians and leaders will understand Cameroon’s [decision].”

     

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Victoria NGO from: Douala
    August 21, 2014 5:36 AM
    I guess Nigeria is isolated from the rest of the world. There is a bit of an exaggeration here. Lagos have a population of over 20 million and only about 10 people have died so far. So why are people outside Lagos so scared? There should be other ways of checking for this EBOLA virus on people moving across the boarders. Otherwise the boarders may remain closed forever.

    by: alfredo ibarra barajas from: México
    August 20, 2014 5:56 PM
    We have a phrase in our country, "fear does not ride upon a donkey", because donkey is synonymous of slowness, and pardon me for using this kind of expression, on an otherwise very serious , grievous , and worrying situation in Africa. But what other alternatives you have in this case, except to try to isolate yourself as far away, and fast, from contact with so deadly a virus. So I think, Cameroon did what is correct in order to protect its citizens. I just hope that the Ebola virus will be able to be contained, so it won't spread farther, and that the people in Nigeria attend to the indications of the health workers, for their own good, and firstly, stay away from the corpses of the deceased from Ebola, which represent the highest level of contagion. And let us hope that laboratories come up fast with a vaccine. Those health workers working in Nigeria are real héroes.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora