By Francis Tim Mbom
Maritime transactions between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have reportedly been halted since Tuesday, February 17, following attacks by unidentified armed men at President Obiang Nguema’s Presidential lodge in the capital city of Malabo.
Security officials at the Bota Port in Limbe told The Post Friday, February 20, that no boat has left Cameroon for Malabo since the incident. They said they have not also had any boat or people coming in from Malabo. "We have just been communicating by phone and we were told that boats are not allowed to and from Cameroon since the borders have been closed," one guard said
When The Post visited the wharf Wednesday, February 18, five boys were busy off loading baskets of fresh tomatoes and other edibles that had been packed in large wooden boats to be ferried to Malabo earlier in the morning. But owing to information that the borders had been sealed, they said had to offload the boat and wait it is clear that the borders are opened.
The Bota wharf is a vibrant commercial route for Cameroonians and Equatorial Guineans who trade mostly in food stuffs like tomatoes, beans, Irish potatoes, cabbages and others. Each week, large quantities of these food stuffs leave the Bota Port for Malabo. With the current stalemate, the dealers, mostly buyam-sellams are seriously affected. Most of them, who spoke to The Post, disclosed that they make enormous money through such trade. Meantime, the Equato-Guinean State media reported on Thursday, February 19, that 15 of the attackers had been captured while some of them were killed by Obiang Nguema’s palace forces.
Cameroonians in Malabo, who were contacted, talked of a calm but tense atmosphere. Cameroonians in Equatorial Guinea have, in the recent past, been subject of suspicion and sometimes assault due to similar attacks and robbery operations. A similar attack by unidentified gun men took place in Limbe last September 28 where banks in Limbe were robbed with two killed and others severe wounded