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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid