Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea Reopen Border, Business Thrives

camerun-guinea-ecuatorial-boaderCameroon and Equatorial Guinea have reopened their border six months after it was sealed to stop the movement of armed groups that fought to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has led Equatorial Guinea since 1979. Strict controls remain on movement across the border.

Business persons from neighboring Cameroon and Gabon are transporting goods to and from the tiny central Africa state. Ephraim Mukwah, a 43-year old Cameroon-born truck driver, said they are happy Equatorial Guinea officials have finally authorized them to have access to Cameroon.

He said people are very grateful and happy as the town’s taxi business is picking up and buses and trucks can now freely circulate between Cameroonian border towns right to Bata, the economic capital city of Equatorial Guinea.

Youths push goods from Cameroon through the border to Equatorial Guinea, June 5, 2018.

Cameroon supplies food items, building material and motor spare parts to Equatorial Guinea while Equatorial Guinea delivers beverages, and vegetable oil to Cameroon.

Equatorial Guinea closed its border with Cameroon on December 24, following a failed coup attempt in the oil-rich Central African state.

On December 29, Equatorial Guinea’s leadership said its forces had arrested a number of people moving towards the Cameroon border in possession of rocket launchers, rifles and a stockpile of ammunition.

Officials alleged the group had accumulated the weapons to destabilize the government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has ruled the Spanish-speaking country since 1979 and is the longest-serving leader in Africa.

Cameroon said it arrested 40 heavily armed men on its side of the border and had strengthened security along the 290-kilometer boundary.