News / Africa

    Immigrants Forced to Leave Gabon

    Gabon has released 100 of some 500 Cameroonian, Chadian and Central African illegal immigrants detained for 10 months for unlawful mining.  Some of the freed people say they were simple refugees from the CAR. 

    In Cameroon's border town of Kiossi, thirty of the migrants flushed out of Gabon look tired, hungry and sick.  Twenty-four-year-old Ibrahim Alaman, who says he left his native Chad to look for a job in Gabon, tells VOA that he spent a month in the dispensary of the prison in Libreville but was not treated for rashes all over his body.

    He says there was no medical assistance in the prison and is calling on those who can to help him and other refugees who are still detained in Gabon.

    Imvram Zhouli, a refugee from the Central African Republic, says he and those with him were arrested during a raid organized by Gabonese authorities.  He says that after being abused by the police, they were transferred to the town of Oyem, where they spent three days before returning to Bitam to be judged.

    He says he does not know why he was arrested and imprisoned for 10 months when Gabonese authorities know that in the CAR there is war, there is insecurity and it is very difficult to live.

    Zhouli adds that the rights of the migrants were never respected in prison.

    He says they really suffered and prison conditions in Gabon are horrible.

    Police raids

    According to the ex-prisoners, the police raids targeted people illegally residing in Gabon.  A total of 500 individuals from African countries including Mali and Benin were arrested.

    Eighteen-year-old Linda Kummani, who is also from the CAR, says she had asked for asylum after fleeing the carnage in her country but the Gabon police did not take that into consideration.

    "I am a refugee from Central African Republic and I asked for asylum in Gabon but they instead arrested me for seven months and maltreated me there.  I don't understand why they maltreated me there while I was still suffering [there are still sufferings] in my country Central Africa," she said.

    Among the ex-prisoners arriving here in Kiossi were 24 Cameroonians.  Thirty-four-year old Leonard Khibi told VOA that seven of them were too sick to return to Kiossi.

    "It is by the grace of God that we are alive.  The people maltreated us. Even to eat, we eat rice everyday during the 8 months we spent there.  They even refuse to give us tablets [treat us when we are sick]," he said.

    Official documents required

    The governor of Cameroon's South Region, Jules Marcellin Ndjaga, told VOA that Cameroonians should avoid traveling to Gabon without their official documents.

    "They have a very beautiful country.  They have to stay here in their country and if they go out one day, they must respect the laws and regulations of that country," he said.

    Equatorial Guinea also recently expelled hundreds of Cameroonians for failing to produce residence permits.

    The move has been interpreted as a violation of the terms governing the movement of goods and people in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC.  

    Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Chad and Congo Brazzaville are members of the bloc.

     

    You May Like

    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

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    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.