“Since 7 October 2015, the drivers decided to stop going to Bangui in CAR because some of their colleagues have been attacked and injured or killed by unknown criminals suspected to be from the conflict-stricken Central African Republic,” it cited the head of the National Syndicate of Professional Drivers of Cameroon (SYNCPRTCAM), Ibrahima Yaya, as stating once contacted on the phone.

map of cameroon

“Following resurgence of violence in Central Africa Republic, we have not requested drivers to stop going to that country but most of them fear they may lose their lives, especially as one truck driver called Mohamadou Bachirou, was shot dead and his truck with goods worth 100 million CFA francs looted on October 6 by an armed gang around Yaloko in that republic, close to our border, and buried by his colleagues same day.

“The arms of one of his colleagues, who was driving near him, were seriously wounded while another one managed to escape safely. So, you can understand why many others have stopped driving on that corridor because they don’t want to lose their lives.”

He said on Sunday, more than 309 lorries heading for Bangui remained parked in Garoua-Boulai and the drivers promise to continue their trips to the headquarters of CAR only when peace and calm return to the country.

It should be noted that, like Cameroon, landlocked countries as Central African Republic and Chad depend mainly on the Douala sea port for exportation and importation of their goods.

Insecurity has persisted across the Central African Republic for several years because of political crisis. However, the political process in CAR took important steps towards stability with the Bangui Forum in May this year that brought together civil society groups, local leaders and members of the armed groups to chart a common way forward for the impoverished country.

Most importantly, an agreement was made on Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), which was signed by nine armed groups and the Transitional Government. But since then little follow-up has been made and the international community’s push for speedy elections has forced other priorities aside.

International policy makers from France, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations are urged to listen to the important warnings from local religious leaders and make sure that substantial progress is made on DDR before elections take place, even if this means delaying the current timeline. Otherwise, the country may face a very real risk of falling back into widespread sectarian violence. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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