E. Guinea reopens border with Cameroon after tiffBy YUH TIMCHIA in Yaounde | Wednesday, August 1 2012 at 12:24
Equatorial Guinea has reopened the frontier separating it from Cameroon four months after its closure.
Malabo shut down the border with on March 28 after Cameroonian traders and Equato-Guinean soldiers clashed in the frontier town of Kye Ossi.
The row reportedly was ignited when the traders refused to pay their way into the neighbouring country.
Other accounts say the problem arose when a Cameroonian trader travelling to Equatorial Guinea was stopped at the border post by soldiers and asked to produce his official travel documents.
Oil-rich Equatorial Guinea has cited incursions of bandits into its territory believed to have come from Cameroon as the reason for the shutdown.
Relations between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have for the most part remained frayed for many years despite attempts by authorities from both countries to mend fences.
In early June, over 30 Cameroonian nationals were expelled from Equatorial Guinea. Cameroonians living in the country frequently complain of xenophobia, arbitrary incarcerations and evictions, confiscation of their residence permits, and a string of other harassments by the country’s security forces as well as by its citizens.
But Malabo maintains Cameroon is a “friend” with whom it maintains “excellent relations”.
Since Equatorial Guinea began crude oil production in 1991, the country has witnessed a surge in people migrating into the nation from Cameroon and other West African countries.
Cameroon’s foreign ministry says currently 15,000 Cameroonians reside in Equatorial Guinea.
A delegation of Equato-Guinean officials recently visited two police academies in Cameroon where they plan to train their officers.
On their part, Cameroonian authorities have stepped up operations and safeguards to secure their side of the territory.
The Presidents of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, Paul Biya and Teodoro Obiang Nguema, met during last week’s regional CEMAC summit in Brazzaville, Congo, where it is believed they discussed the border problems.
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