News / Africa

    Equatorial Guinea Expels Illegal Cameroonians

    x
    Hundreds of Cameroonians have been forcefully expelled from neighboring Equatorial Guinea for being in the country illegally.  They are complaining that their property was seized and valid transit documents are not being recognized. Part of this issue appears to be related to the refugees fleeing the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR).
     
    The border town of Campo in southwestern Cameroon has seen hundreds of Cameroonians returning from Equatorial Guinea in recent weeks after they were forcefully expelled.
     
    Eleven-year-old Lesslie Ndifor had joined his father in Bata in Equatorial Guinea and began school there. He told VOA armed men chased them from their home.
     
    “They just came, started beating us and seized everything from us. As you can see, he [my father] is seriously wounded,” said Lesslie.
     
    Lesslie's father, Ndifor Thomas, a motor mechanic, said he had acquired a passport of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, and is surprised that it was not recognized in Equatorial Guinea.
     
    Last year, CEMAC heads of state agreed to cancel visa requirements and to begin issuing CEMAC biometric passports in August in order to promote better regional economic integration between Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville.
     
    But Decodeh Marcel, a Cameroonian who was also deported from Equatorial Guinea, told VOA the new document was useless.
     
    “How can we talk of regional integration under these circumstances? What if Cameroonians start sending away other nationals from their own territory? It is really terrible,” said Marcel.
     
    Cameroonian officials confirm this is an ongoing problem.
     
    Sillas Thomas Charlie is an administrator in Campo.  He said they often don’t have the facilities to handle the needs of those fleeing Equatorial Guinea.
     
    He said hardly a week passes without scores of Cameroonians coming back from Equatorial Guinea without any possessions or money and they are dependent.  He said his local government needs more resources to care for these people who are often sick and hungry. 
     
    This situation is sparking anger in Cameroon - where many locals are pressing for the government to retaliate by expelling many of the 10,000 Equatorial Guineans who work and study in Cameroon.
     
    The governor of Cameroon’s South Region, Jules Marcellin Njaggah, told VOA that he understands the sentiment but he said officials are concentrating on fixing the problem with Equatorial Guinea. 
     
    The deteriorating security situation in the Central Africa Republic is part of the issue.
     
    The spiraling violence in December resulted in hundreds of thousands of displaced people - prompting Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to suspend the agreement to allow freer cross border movements.
     
    Despite the set-back, the director of integration in CEMAC, Cameroonian-born Chantale Elombat said she was optimistic that the situation will be resolved in due course.
     
    She said these setbacks are temporary and there is no reason why Central Africa cannot create a successful economic trade bloc.
      
    Equatorial Guinea has the strongest economy in CEMAC, with 10 percent growth - prompting many Cameroonians and other Central Africans to seek better job opportunities there.

    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

    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.