The Douala-Bangui corridor closed about three months ago due to insecurity in the Central African Republic will be officially reopened on March 5, 2021, authorized customs sources reveal.
“The governor of the eastern region announces the official reopening of the Douala-Bangui corridor at Garoua Boulai this Friday [March 5, 2021],” customs authorities inform.
The sources explain that even before the official reopening, on March 2, 2021, 421 trucks were able to safely reach Bangui, the Central African republic’s capital. This reopening will reduce the long queues of over 1,000 trucks (which were on their way to supply goods in the Central African Republic-CAR) parked along the corridor since the eve of the December 27, 2020, presidential elections.
Indeed, opposed to the presidential elections, rebels are set on imposing a blockade on Bangui, CAR’s capital, and prevent supplies from reaching it. Therefore, as the Douala-Bangui is critical for the Central African Republic because it is the main supply route to Bangui, they attack transporters who are hardy enough to cross the CAR border.
According to the Land Freight Management Office, most of the parked trucks are stuck in Garoua-Boulaï, a Cameroonian town that borders the CAR. The drivers are Cameroon, Chad, and CAR nationals who fear the attacks of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebels.
The insecurity caused by those rebels affects commercial transactions in the Douala-Bangui corridor, through which about XAF55 billion worth of goods transit every year, according to Cameroonian Customs authorities.
The announcement of this reopening is made just days after Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadera sent his Foreign Minister, Sylvie Baïpo-Temon, to seek Cameroon’s support for the resolution of the conflict in his country.
Sylvie Baïpo-Temon was granted an audience, on February 10, 2021, by President Paul Biya in that regard. “CAR is a strategic country in the sub-region. It should be stabilized or at least, the attacks should be contained to avoid affecting neighboring countries,” she said.