News / Africa

    CAR Soldiers Resist Call to Leave Cameroon

    President of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize speaks to the media at the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
    President of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize speaks to the media at the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
    Soldiers from the Central African Republic (CAR) who fled to Cameroon are refusing to go back to their home country. The men are complaining of insecurity in the CAR, where the rebel group Seleka toppled the president in March. They also say they may face charges of manslaughter in the CAR's courts.

    The soldiers who entered Cameroon after CAR President Francois Bozize was ousted in a coup March 24, have turned down calls for them to go home. One of their spokespeople, Kato Djodiar, who remains loyal to the ousted president, says that  new CAR President Michel Djotodia is not giving the soldiers any assurances they will not be arrested or even killed if they return home.

    He says there is no question of going back because those who fought with president Bozize are wanted everywhere and they are not sure that if they return they will be secure.  He says at this time those who fought with Bozize have been declared wanted so many prefer to stay in Cameroon for now.

    Cameroonian officials say there are are 70 CAR soldiers in Cameroon who have refused to return to their country.

    But the national Red Cross of Cameroon puts the number much higher, at more than 500 soldiers, a majority of whom were supporters of the CAR's ousted president. The government of Cameroon is reported to be uncomfortable with their presence as many remain heavily armed.

    Government representatives from both Cameroon and the Central African Republic have been visiting the soldiers, trying to persuade them to go home. The leader of the delegation from the CAR, Idriss Salao, who is the country's deputy director of the civil cabinet of the presidency, says soldiers who left the CAR are still considered in active service so their salaries will be paid.  He also says they will enjoy security if they return to Bangui.

    Cameroon's secretary of state in charge of war veterans, Kumpa Issa, also joined the delegation.  He refutes allegations that Cameroon is forcing the Central Africans to return saying 21 of the soldiers have returned voluntarily.

    Cameroonian resentment

    Many Cameroonians do not appreciate the presence of the CAR soldiers or the presence of the ousted CAR president Francois Bozize in Cameroon. 40-year-old Mireil Lambo, a journalist says Bozize's presence could destablize the border region.

    Emmanuel Sandjong, a businessman in Yaounde, agrees. "Bozize has been declared a fugitive in this country," he said. "The fact that he stays in Cameroon makes it insecure for both Cameroon and for the cordial relations that have to exist between the Cameroon and the Central African Republic."

    Many here in Yaounde say the presence of Bozize and his loyalists in Cameroon has strained the country's relations with the CAR. Three months ago, new CAR leader Michel Djotodia announced that he was going to visit Cameroon -- but he never arrived. Observers said Bozize's presence in Cameroon made him change his mind.

    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.
    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.
    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