Armed ViolenceNews

CAR Rebels Block Berberati-Kenzo Highway, Cut Supplies

Coalition of Patriots for Change, CPC Rebels in the Central African Republic, CAR have blocked roads, thereby cutting supplies to the country from Cameroon.

Movements of people and goods between Berberati in the Central African Republic and Kenzo in Cameroon have been blocked by rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), HumAngle reports. The blockage has lasted for 48 hours. 

The rebels had earlier blocked the Bangui-Beloko corridor on the national highway number one for the past month.

Kenzo is a Cameroonian border town with the Central African Republic. The decision to block the road now would stop the flow of supplies from Cameroon to the Central African Republic through the village of Nassoule, situated about 30 kilometres from Gamboula.

“The rebels say it is Berberati which has been supplying Bangui, which means that trucks buy foodstuff here in Kenzo and carry them to Berberati where people come from Bangui to buy and take to the national capital,” a trader in Berbarati told HumAngle by phone Monday evening.

“When they blocked the Bangui-Beloko road, the government was not very worried, thus the rebels were forced to also block the Kenzo-Berberati highway with a view to asphyxiating the capital Bangui.”

Besides curtailing supplies to the national capital, the Berberati-Kenzo road’s blockage is beginning to have serious economic consequences on Gamboula, a Central African Republic town situated about 15 kilometres from the Cameroonian border town of Kenzo.

“Around Nassoule village which is situated about 30 kilometres from Gamboula, the CPC rebels have blocked the road saying vehicles from Kenzo in Cameroon do not have to enter the Central African Republic with supplies intended for Berberati,” said a  villager who declined to give his name for security reasons.

“For now, without telling you lies, the population is very worried because the rebels are already here in the village with us,” he added.

In Berberati and Gamboula, the markets and provision stores are running short of supplies occasioning a drastic hike in consumer prices which goes up to over 50 per cent in some cases.

“If this situation continues, all the markets and provision stores would be empty within the next week and then we would all die of hunger. Government and MINUSCA must do something immediately to remedy the situation,” the villager concluded.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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