News / Africa

    CAR Refugees Face Harrowing Trip to Cameroon

    FILE - Refugees from Central Africa sit in the eastern Cameroonian village of Gado Badzere, near the city of Garoua-Boulai, not far from the border with Central Africa Republic.
    FILE - Refugees from Central Africa sit in the eastern Cameroonian village of Gado Badzere, near the city of Garoua-Boulai, not far from the border with Central Africa Republic.

    The number of refugees fleeing the strife-torn Central African Republic for Cameroon has declined somewhat, but not because the C.A.R. is returning to calm.  Refugees and aid workers say fewer people are able to make the trip because of malnourishment and insecurity.

    The refugees entering in Gado from the troubled Central African Republic look tired, sick and hungry.  

    Refugee crossing declining

    According to the U.N. refugee agency, the numbers crossing the border has dropped in recent weeks, from 10,000 per week to about 8,000 now.

    Marie Anjaba, who fled her residence in the C.A.R. town of Bouar a month ago, says their numbers are falling because many Central Africans have died.

    She said fewer people are coming now because many of them either die while trekking to Cameroon or are killed by Muslim Seleka rebels.

    Among the humanitarian agencies taking care of the refugees is Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF.  One of its medical staff, Gervail Martial Mbonye, said many of the refugees tell terrifying stories.

    He said some of them told him they spent two months in the bush and all of their family members were killed.

    Refugees flee for various reasons

    MSF's communications officer for Cameroon, Laetitia Martin, said most of the refugees who are still coming are in critical need of medical attention.  "The situation is quite worrying.  Even though the number of people coming from Central Africa has decreased a bit, their health status and their mental status is very worrying.  What is more specific today is that they are people who arrive maybe after one, two, three or four months in the bush in the C.A.R., hiding from the different groups that are attacking people," stated Martin.

    Not all refugees tell stories of desperation.  Joseph Akadji said he left the C.A.R. because he has children and after months of violence, the schools have not reopened.

    He said he has decided to settle in Cameroon because their future will be compromised if they do not go to school even though violence has gone down in their country.

    Akagbe Emmanuel said he and other students are looking for ways to fund their education.

    He said they have projects like opening up poultry farms to raise money and fund their education and adds that some of them are in desperate need of money.

    For now, the United Nations Children's Fund is providing them some food.  Doctors Without Borders' Martin said they also provide health care for the refugees but that the needs of refugee children keep increasing.

    "We have been doing 56,000 consultations, we are taking care of malnourished and it's like more than 92 percent of the refugee children that are being taken care of in MSF structures," said Martin.

    The reduction in the number of refugees started after a deal signed last month between rival militias aimed at ending more than a year of religious conflict.  The first Muslim prime minister in the Christian-dominated country, Mahamat Kamoun, was appointed in the wake of meetings.

    However, the appointment has been rejected by the mainly Muslim rebel group Seleka.

    An estimated 20 percent of C.A.R. inhabitants have fled their homes in the conflict which began as Seleka rebels toppled the president in March 2013.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora