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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More