News / Africa

Hunger Drives CAR Residents to Cameroon

Muslim refugees prepare food at the Catholic church in Carnot, Central African Republic, April 15, 2014.
Muslim refugees prepare food at the Catholic church in Carnot, Central African Republic, April 15, 2014.
On the eve of World Refugee Day, the number of people fleeing the Central African Republic into Cameroon is increasing sharply. The refugees are escaping violence and famine caused by droughts and failure to farm since the conflict in the C.A.R. began in 2013.

Here in Garoua Boulaye, housewife Govegh Nadia says she and other Central Africans who left the C.A.R. were no longer running away from just sectarian violence - but famine.

She tells VOA there is no food at home due to a lack of rainfall and that is causing people to find whatever way they can over patrolled borders to get into Cameroon in order to eat and survive.

Most of the refugees appear to be women and children.

Fighting is also fueling famine, explains 43-year-old mother of four Pana Yogo. She says her church in Baoro was attacked by Seleka rebels in early June and her eldest son died in the attack.  

"There is still war in my country with people killing others," she says. "People can no longer go to the farms due to the fear of violence and they must leave to stop their children dying of starvation."

But once the refugees get to Cameroon, they encounter new hardships - including local resentment.  

Refugee Nzapaye Lynne says she could not bear the difficult conditions at a nearby UNHCR camp and decided to sell bread at the Garoua Boulaye market junction to take care of her sick husband and three children.  But she says she is now being harassed by local officials.

 “What do they want me to eat?" she asks, " It is horrible here in Cameroon.”  She says locals are harassing her at the food market asking her to pay taxes and seizing her goods.

Local council official Meka Meka David tells VOA that the refugees are welcome but are not exempt from respecting the laws of their host country and must be monitored for everyone’s protection.  

He says because the refugees are from a country in conflict, Cameroonians do not know if they will start fighting here and that people you consider friendly can turn out to be an enemy - which is why his country must be careful.

Most refugees here - like Dike Yayi - long for peace to return so that they may go home.

How can I love some other person’s country, she wonders, adding that she will not hesitate to go back to the C.A.R. once there is again calm.

The United Nations estimates more than a million people have fled their homes in the Central African Republic and half the population is in urgent need of food assistance as a result of violence during the past year.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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