Friday, January 24, 2014

Refugees reach Gamboula

This mother and two children had just arrived by taxi motorcycle. I did not 
see any belongings with them. 
Behind them is the Central African customs sign.  
      As I was moving in to my new house out at Somongue, thousands of people around this country where fleeing their homes.
     Many of those who formed the movement to overthrow the former president of this country are Muxslim and most are not even from Central African Republic. In recent months there has been a popular movement against these who are causing chaos and considered to be outsiders. Gangs in the capital 580 Kilometers away have been fighting a war against them, but have also been threatening, looting, and sometimes killing Central African Musxlims, just because they are Muslixm, like the rebels.
Jan, a nurse, is helping a elderly woman who was sick.
      The Fulani people who live in this country are culturally Muslxim, and make up quite a bit of the population. Gamboula has a lot of Fulani living in it, including leaders in the community. Since all this trouble started Gamboula has been peaceful, Fulani and Bantu people have lived and worked side by side with nothing happening. In the last week, however, rumors that those who are against Muslixms are getting closer to a large town some distance away.
     This week hundreds of Fulani fled their homes in other parts of the country and ended up at the border at Gamboula trying to cross into Cameroon. Most of them are woman and children who don’t know where they are going. Most of the men have sent their families to safety just in case rumors prove to be true.
A medical staff taking the temperature of a child with malaria. 
The boy would not look up, even when spoken to. 
The kid in the back ground was also sick, and given some medicine.  
Cameroon is asking a lot of money to cross, and there are a lot of expensive formalities these people must do , so many took a few days before being allowed to go. In the mean time they were stuck at customs on the border.
      There are good wells and pumps where they are camped out, and many are in a large building that is at the border. Food and other necessities were lacking though. The missionaries and hospital mobilized, and began trying to get aid to them, in the form of food, medical care, and blankets. The local government also stepped in, and helped the process along, even contributing to the effort themselves.
Sitting on a mat is a woman surrounded by 13 children. Only a few of them
are hers, but many belong to her clan. 
       On this particular morning there were about 500 people spread between two places. As some were allowed to leave, more would show up, and take their places. Overall less seem to be coming, but family members I spoke with said that there would be more.

A mother who received her clans sheet, Sardines, Rice, Onions, 
and soap. She was traveling with 10 children, and 10 adults. 
This is hardly enough for all of them, but there are a lot of 
people and limited resources. Everyone is grateful for the little they get. 
      Things are still tense, and there is a lot of fear among them, but we hope this new government and more international pressure will help to keep those who want to make trouble from doing so.
     The United Nations have arrived in the boarder town on the Cameroon side. Yesterday, they began organizing transportation and help for these refugees to get in to Cameroon. 
       Keep praying for thees refugees and others just like them all over this country. They have a long road ahead of them, and many hardships along the way. 

A mother puts her son on a motorcycle taxi along with a load of belongings. The motorcycle is so loaded that the driver sits up in his handle bars.