News / Africa

    Cameroonians Stream Home From Troubled CAR

    Displaced refugees are seen in a camp at Mpoko international airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 15, 2013.
    Displaced refugees are seen in a camp at Mpoko international airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Dec. 15, 2013.
    Cameroon has started repatriating citizens from the Central African Republic as the sectarian crisis continues in the neighboring country.

    This special flight taking off from the Bangui International Airport carries more than 300 Cameroonians. They are among about 1,000 Cameroonians who have called on their government to save them from the deepening crisis in the Central African Republic.

    The country has spiraled out of control since Seleka rebels toppled President Francois Bozize in March. Last week, hundreds died in the capital in fighting between the former rebels - who are mostly Muslim - and mostly Christian militia groups that formed in response to a wave of killing and looting by the Seleka fighters.

    According to Cameroon's acting ambassador to the Central African African Republic, Nicolas Nzoyum, it was very difficult for the Cameroonians to travel home by land because of the growing violence.

    “In fact they hired trucks to take them to Garoua Boulaye [on Cameroon's border with CAR] and wanted me to help them by giving them what we call an escort [soldiers] in French to take them there," said Nzoyum. "It was difficult to do it and I asked them to come to the residence [embassy].”

    Unspeakable violence

    People like 30-year-old Baba Toukour, who said he lived in Bangui for five years, report seeing horrible scenes of violence as fighting Bangui escalated.

    “When the dead body of a Muslim was brought to the mosque," he said, "tension rose and they began to kill Christians, Senegalese, Malians, Sudanese, just all foreigners. Many Cameroonians were killed in front of me."

     A Cameroonian who worked as a nurse in Bangui, Agnes Limana, also witnessed atrocities. “They have been killing people in front of us, committing crimes, seizing all of our goods, raping, kidnapping.”

    A miner from South West Cameroon, Divine Abada, said he decided to come back because he was scared the Central African African Republic was on the brink of ruin.

    “These crazy Seleka rebels caught me in the bush, beat us very well, took everything away from us," said Abada. "Those guys, when they just hear that you are a Cameroonian, they say you are a spy for Bozize who has come into the country to cause confusion. We saw so many people that had been killed besides us. They beat us until they took everything, food, money everything.”

    Homeward bound

    One woman said, “Oh, we have been saved. We are safe, my brother. Oh God, yea.”

    When the first contingent of 320 Cameroonians arrived at the Douala International Airport, they said they were grateful to God for bringing them back home safely, and sang Cameroon's national anthem.

    There are 5,000 Cameroonians in Bangui, and about 20,000 in the Central African African Republic.

    Some say they are being targeted by supporters of CAR President Michel Djotodia, because ousted president Bozize was given asylum in Cameroon after he was forced out of power.

    Goods destined for the landlocked country are stuck at the Douala sea port in Cameroon, as truck drivers refuse to transport them to Central African African Republic for fear they may be killed and the goods looted by rebels.

    Last month, Djotodia dispatched special envoys to neighboring countries to make a plea for assistance in stabilizing the Central African African Republic.

    Peacekeepers have arrived from France and African countries, such as Burundi, but stability in Bangui or other parts of the Central African African Republic so far appears to be out of reach.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.