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CAR Rebels Block Supply Of Goods To Bangui From Cameroon

Rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) who have been backing former Central African Republic head of state, Francois Bozize in his determination to wrestle power from the newly re-elected President Faustin Archange Touadera have formally decreed the interdiction of the transportation of goods and basic necessities from Cameroon to Bangui, the country’s capital.

Abakar Sabone, the spokesperson of the CPC rebellion, posted on Facebook on Monday a warning in which he said the “highway between  Garoua-Boulai and Bangui is decreed a red zone”.

“Le troncon Garoua-Boulai-Bangui est decrete zone rouge pa la CPC. A bon entendeur salut!” (The highway between Garoua-Boulai and Bangui is decreed a red zone. Have a good hearing, hi),” Sabone wrote on Facebook.

This threat from the spokesperson of the CPC rebel movement is proof of the determination of the rebels to completely block the Central African Republic capital Bangui and starve the government and populations of highly-needed basic necessities. 

The Central African Republic is a land-locked country which depends on supplies by land from Cameroon to survive.

The seriousness of the threat was manifested the same day when two drivers from Cameroon who were in the convoy of trucks that was taking goods to Bangui were killed in an ambush by the CPC rebels.

The convoy had crossed the Cameroon-Central African border after the announcement of a resumption of traffic between the two countries from the Cameroonian town of Garoua-Boulai where more than 1,000 trucks loaded with merchandise had been held up for several days for fear of the insecurity in the Central African Republic.

After the killing of the said Cameroonian drivers and the wounding of several others who are still in the hospital, the Central African head of state, Faustin Archange Touadera sent messages of condolence and consolation to the families of the dead and wounded. 

Together with the United Nations Organisation Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) the government announced the reinforcement of security on the Garoua-Boulai-Bangui highway.

However, the beefed-up security arrangement does not appear to have any impact within the ranks of the CPC combatants as they have since intensified attacks sending fears throughout the Cameroonian transportation community that has been braving the odds for the last six years to supply the Central African capital with basic necessities.

Goods worth over 55 billion FCFA (about US$110 million) transit between the port of Douala in Cameroon and the Central African Republic capital Bangui each year, according to figures from Cameroonian customs authorities.

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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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