Hello Letter to Friends Team
Carte Centrafrique-Cameroun

Hello Letter to Friends Team,

In the eastern part of Cameroon, in a town on the border with the Central African Republic, refugees have been arriving for the last 8 months.

During our visit I observed serious problems in the relationship between the refugees and local people. Since the refugees have arrived, insecurity has increased and continues to do so. The local population is angry about this, and accuses the refugees of causing it.

As a result there is increased conflict and the local population does not want to have any refugees in the town. So how can we have reconciliation between the refugees who don't even have the bare minimum, and a population that earns a living from subsistence farming?

This was the fundamental problem that led us to bring the two parties together at the Catholic Mission. The aim was to find a basis for agreement that would enable both parties to leave with a satisfactory outcome; not an easy thing to do.

But eventually, the local population made concessions, even allowing the refugees to work with them on the land if they so wished, and to benefit from the harvest, instead of stealing it every day.

This was quite a moving development for me, because the local population, by offering hospitality, also offers the refugees a way to fight poverty. As for the refugees, they will not only escape enforced idleness, but in addition they will find a way to express their humanity.

Blaise N,. Cameroon