Central African Republic Journalist Goes Into Hiding After Open Letter To President

Sources in Bangui the capital disclosed that Ben Wilson Ngassan is actually being tracked by a certain Thierry Lebene, alias 12 Powers, reputed to be a regime hitman for his comments about the CAR President.

A Central African Republic journalist and writer, Ben Wilson Ngassan, has gone into hiding after addressing a letter to President Faustin Archange Touadera, accusing him of being obsessed with power.

Ngassan sent the letter to President Touadera three days after the end of a national dialogue being described as a “sham” during which it was resolved among other things, that the country’s constitution be amended to enable the President to stand for a third term.

“Near where I live in reclusion, two black vehicles with tinted glasses and no number plates have been patrolling the area,” the journalist said in a statement released from his hideout.

“According to neighbours, this is strange because the vehicles are not owned by residents of the area and the said vehicles had not been seen in the vicinity in the past.

“For precautionary reasons, I am going to change my hideout while waiting to know more about the vehicles. I want to make it clear of the perpetual security danger facing me.

“Being the young man that I am and assisted by another youth of the same generation like me, I am not really secure. I however continue to hang on to a high moral in spite of all. This is a red alert.”

The journalist said he has since March 27, 2022 been the target of threats and intimidation by militia of the regime, adding that his life is in danger.

Sources in Bangui the capital disclosed that Ben Wilson Ngassan is actually being tracked by a certain Thierry Lebene, alias 12 Powers, reputed to be a regime hitman.

“This is a dangerous situation in which Ngassan finds himself, especially as the search for him involves members of the presidential guard,” said another journalist who declined to be named for security reasons. 

“We know the methods the regime uses in tracking down its critics and how they usually end up. I vividly remember how another journalist, Jean Saint-Claire Maka Gbossokotto was poisoned to death in Bangui not very long ago.”

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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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