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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid