Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Drone photography: A sky full of cameras

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Aylan Kurdi: A tragic symbol of the migrant crisis

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Disney hopes to score big as new Star Wars toys hit the shelves

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Photo of Syrian boy continues to cause furor

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Libération: 'Why we didn't publish Aylan's photo earlier'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Race debate overshadows Springbocks' preparation for world cup

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Could this photo mark a turning point in the European migrant crisis?

Read more

THE DEBATE

China's might on parade: Old foes wary of show of strength (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

China's might on parade: Old foes wary of show of strength (part 1)

Read more

Africa

Video: CAR refugees find comfort with Congo relatives

© FRANCE 24

Video by Nicolas GERMAIN , Mehdi MEDDEB

Text by Thomas HUBERT

Latest update : 2014-01-30

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, FRANCE 24 visited one of the families hosting the tens of thousands of civilians who have fled violence in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR).

In humanitarian jargon, Sylvain is a “pendulum refugee” – crossing the Oubangui river back and forth between Bangui, the capital of the war-torn Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where most of his family came to seek refuge three weeks ago.

“I’m very happy to see them again,” Sylvain told FRANCE 24 as he was reunited with them. He had lost track of them in the chaos of the Central African Republic and only recently heard they were staying with relatives in the town of Zongo.

Hunched over pots of steaming beans and plantain bananas, his Congolese cousin Wivine is doing her best to cope with the additional mouths to feed. “There is war in their country, we have to receive them here – that’s normal,” she said. “We greet our brothers, it’s hard to welcome them because we don’t have enough food but we find ways.”

According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, around 65,000 from the Central African Republic have fled to neighbouring countries since their country descended into civil war last year – the vast majority of them to DR Congo. Another 450,000 are displaced within CAR.

Wivine said that if conflict broke out again in Congo, she too would expect to find refuge with her relatives abroad.

Successive wars in the region have made refugee movements a regular occurrence along the Oubangui river.

Four years ago, Zongo itself was a ghost town after violence between two local tribes forced tens of thousands of residents from their homes – that time mostly to the Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville.

Date created : 2014-01-30

  • CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

    UN authorises EU troops to use force in CAR

    Read more

  • AFRICA NEWS

    The flight from Bangui

    Read more

  • DR Congo

    Video: Terrified CAR civilians seek refuge in DR Congo

    Read more

COMMENT(S)