Central Southern AfricaReport

Life resumes in Bangui

(BRUSSELS2 to Bangui) At the beginning of the week in the Central African capital, after the incidents of the last few days (shooting against international forces and an attempted coup), life resumed spectacularly in the opinion of all observers.

Stores have reopened

There are crowds in the streets. The Total gas station has reopened. Taxis and small dealers line up. Some banks have opened their doors ajar. And people line up to collect their pay. Most of the small shops (hairdressers, pharmacies, photographers, mechanics...) have reopened while in the previous days only the most useful shops (food, drinks,...) were, the others had put the padlock . Taxis (yellow) and even minibuses (green) are rolling.

Motorcycles and taxis in front of the queue
Motorcycles and taxis in front of the queue

The rhythm of Bangui

Compared to the various incidents that have taken place since October 8, and the tension still palpable in recent days, the difference is astonishing. From here and there, the elements of tension remain (hide of weapon discovered in the night for example). But they remain, for the moment, very localized. This is the rhythm of Bangui. And the Central African capital seems to find, with pleasure, a certain normality. This does not mean that appeasement is general. " Here it can start again in a quarter of an hour. Especially after 9 am and the first shoot. And when the weather is nice. On rainy days appeasement is often in order », Comments a security specialist, not without irony but not without reason.

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A large IDP camp that is emptying

Denis recounts his life in the IDP camp
Denis recounts his life in the IDP camp

The displacement camp near the airport is slowly emptying. At the last count, according to the NGO Première Urgence, there were still 21.000 displaced people. A figure to cross with a fact: the camp empties almost completely during the day, only the women, the oldest and the young children remain there, the displaced returning at night. Those who have not left the camp, it is because they no longer have a choice: no roof, no more money. Like Dennis. " I rented my house and a workshop (for carpentry). But the owner put someone else in his place. I no longer have a place to go. Besides, all my tools were destroyed. And I don't have enough money to buy any. »

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).