“They pleaded with the truck drivers who, after dropping food aid in Bangui, were on their way back to the Cameroonian border. They begged them to save their lives and let them onto the trucks,” says Thomas Dehermann-Roy, who carried out a needs assessment at the Cameroonian-Central African Republic border for the European Commission’s humanitarian aid service ECHO.
Following the escalation of violence and retaliation in Central African Republic (CAR) in January, neighbouring Cameroon has seen an influx of people seeking refuge.
“Fuire ou mourir (flee or die). It was the only choice they had,” says Thomas. “The attacks by the militias were of an extreme violence. People told us they came to their village, looted, killed and burnt everything."