Protest In Central African Republic Over Teenager’s Death

Young persons in the Central African Republic claim that authorities have neglected them after one of them died and was abandoned.

Street children in the Central African Republic capital Bangui on Tuesday, June 28, demonstrated in some streets of the capital against what they termed “discrimination and abandonment” by the state authorities.

The action followed the discovery of the corpse of a 19-year-old boy on Monday, June 27, 2022, in the Kokoro market situated at Kilometre 5 within the Third District of the capital Bangui. 

The young man, whose only name was Caleb, is reported to have died of tuberculosis.

“The corpse of the youth was abandoned in the street and was not taken away for burial neither by the forces of law and order nor the Bangui council,” a local source in Bangui told HumAngle.

“This neglect of their colleague by the various authorities infuriated the street children in most parts of the capital.”

After the discovery of the corpse lying on a table in the Kokoro market yesterday morning, the Third District Police Station called on the relevant city authorities to collect the corpse for burial.

“There began a game of ping-pong between the various city authorities with one service shifting the responsibility to the other and vice versa,” the source said.

“Various police units complained of not having fuel to enable them to carry the corpse of the young man demanding that they be given energy before they did anything.

 One police unit said the crime brigade was responsible for burying corpses found on the streets. In contrast, the crimes brigade said the fault was that of the city council.”

While this blame and responsibility game was going on, the corpse of late Caleb remained on the table in the open air in the Kokoro market and sparked off the protest by angry youths.

“They treat us as if we are not humans. While we are alive, our government does not take care of us. Even in death, they abandon us. What kind of people are at the head of this country?” one of Caleb’s colleagues asked.

The late young man’s colleagues later collected their friend’s corpse and buried it.

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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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