The Cameroon-Central African Republic border which Was closed for three months due to the insecurity in the Central African Republic, will be reopened today, Friday March 5, 2021.
“The Governor of the East Region has announced the official reopening of the Douala-Bangui corridor at Garoua-Boulai effective today, Friday March 5, 2021,” the General Directorate of Customs announced.
The customs announcement revealed that 421 trucks had already crossed the border from Cameroon to the Central African Republic capital of Bangui as of Tuesday, March 2.
The resumption of traffic on the Douala-Bangui corridor is expected to decongest the Garoua-Boulai border town where more than 1000 trucks have been waiting for the opportunity to cross over to the Central African Republic with basic supplies since Dec. 2020.
According to the Land Freight Control Bureau of the Cameroon Customs, the trucks that have been held up on the border are driven by drivers from the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Chad.
Though the Central African Republic has been in a state of war since 2013, traffic between Cameroon and the country had been fluid until Dec.2020 when rebels of the newly-formed Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) decided to block the border with a view to strangulating Bangui, the national capital which depends on the seaport of Douala for most of its imports and basic necessities.
It is estimated that goods worth 55 billion FCFA (about US$110 million) transit through the Cameroonian seaport of Douala to the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, annually.
Political analysts in Cameroon say the reopening of the border has been facilitated by the recent visit of the Central African Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sylvie Baipo-Temon to Cameroon during which he delivered a message from Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera to his Cameroonian counterpart, Paul Biya.
During the said visit, the Foreign Minister declared that “the Central African Republic is a strategic country in the heart of the sub region thus it is important that its situation be regularised in order to bring peace so that it does not have repercussions on neighbouring countries.”
Baipo-Temon revealed that the message he brought to President Biya from President Touadera was to solicit for the input of the Cameroonian leader towards a resolution of the Central African Republic crisis.
“It is almost certain that the Cameroonian authorities must have threatened some action against the CPC rebels which has forced them to agree to lift their blockade of the border between the two countries,” political analyst, Edzoa Phillippe told HumAngle.