Refugees in Yaounde: Living with the hope to return home

Majority of refugees say they are facing financial constraints in Cameroon.


Most of them are victims of social and political upheavals that took place in their countries. These refugees living in the urban cities of Cameroon like Yaounde, the nation’s capital have expressed their desire to return back home. They are from Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Rwanda. They are living in Cameroon for the past 10 to 15 years.

“I might go back home if any opportunity comes but for now I am happy to be in Cameroon. The living conditions are conducive. At the Elig-Edzoa neighbourhood where I reside for instance, I have established my petty trade. Thanks to this, my husband and I are able to cater for our younger children.” said Marcelline Boyogain. As a mother of ten children, she is devoted to her daily activities. It is not an easy task as she said but living out of her native town Pawa, in a peaceful atmosphere is better than living in a conflicting area.

Steve Noudjougoso, 31 from CAR lives at the Mvan neighbourhood in Yaounde. He works as night watchman and during the day makes little jobs in building sites to satisfy the needs of his family. Steve is father of four children. “I have to work hard to earn a living for my wife and children. Things are not easy in Cameroon though the High Commissioner for Refugees takes care of their health. If stability regains my country, I will like to move back to CAR, where I left my people and properties.” he said.

Medard Loundoumon from the Central African Republic, today working as relay agent for the High Commissioner for Refugees said: “As a refugee, I keep on praying and hoping all gets normal in my native land. We have been warmly welcomed and there is peace in Cameroon but everyone is always free and at ease in his or her homeland. I hope to return in CAR to get a job after spending four years of studies here. While waiting for calm in my country, I work as relay agent in the zone of Biyem-Assi neighbourhood, where I identify and register all refugees.

Steve just like Medard arrived in Cameroon in 2011 and 2013 respectively. They came in to seek refuge following the continuous power struggle between François Bozize and Ange Felix Patassé, and the persistent abuses of rebels on populations.

These people from CAR, Chad just to name this few are hopefully expecting to return back home to live with their families left behind, their properties and meet up with their customs and traditions as one confided.

Cameroon is today hosting 20.900 urban refugees of different nationalities.


By Elise Kenimbeni

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