Transporters on the Douala-N’Djamena corridor supplying goods to both sides of the border between Cameroon and Chad have raised an alarm over the “big losses” being incurred since the closure of the Cameroon-Chad frontier.
Following the death of Chadian leader, Idriss Deby Itno, the new Transitional Military Council (TMC) that has taken over power, led by the former president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, took various security measures including the closure of the country’s borders.
The Douala-N’Djamena corridor closure has been having a very negative impact on transporters who ply this corridor, as hundreds of trucks have already been blocked on both sides of the border.
“The trucks are blocked here. Honestly, it is a very big loss for us when our trucks remain blocked here doing nothing,” one transporter in Kousseri revealed.
“The daily losses to all these trucks and the economies of the two countries since the closure of the border already amount to hundreds of millions of FCFA.”
Commercial activities between the countries have also been severely affected as the goods and services between the two countries that transit through the Kousseri-N’Djamena border have ground to a halt.
“It is we who supply foodstuff as well as imported goods that come in through the Douala port to the Chadian capital N’Djamena but now with the closure of the Ngueli bridge that links Kousseri in the Far North region of Cameroon to the Chadian capital N’Djamena, the Chadian capital is already experiencing shortages of some basic supplies,” a businessman from Douala told HumAngle on Friday.
Besides the big transporters, local populations from the two countries daily cross the border on foot or motor bikes to buy basic needs which may not be available in their own country or which they can obtain at cheaper prices from the other country.
Administrative authorities in the far North region of Cameroon have been assuring the people that the measures were necessary to avoid any possible spill-over of the crisis in Chad to Cameroon.
“We have taken note of the closure of the borders but we have noticed that the situation in Kousseri is calm. There is no influx of the populations from Chad as reported on social media,” Jean Lazare Ndongo Ndongo, the Senior Divisional Officer of Logone et Chari, assured the people Friday.
“We call on our populations to remain calm. The security measures were taken to ensure their own security.”