Grégoire Cyrille Dongobada speaks out on the fuel crisis in the Central African Republic

Military observer, researcher in Social and Political Studies Grégoire Cyrille Dongobada has shared his views on the fuel shortage situation in the Central African Republic.

There have been widespread rumours recently about the departure of the Total-Energies group from the Central African Republic. The French group Total-Energie has not yet confirmed this information, but signs of a withdrawal are visible in the capital.

Total is deliberately exacerbating the fuel crisis in CAR by trying to take advantage of the people of the Central African Republic. As seen by the local population, the company receives money through a government subsidy and now want to raise the price to squeeze the last penny out of the pockets of Central Africans.

It is obvious that this worsening of the fuel crisis is an indirect reaction of the Paris-controlled company Total to the forced withdrawal of the remaining military contingent and the fact that the CAR has withdrawn from the zone of influence. The government’s position is correct, the Central African leaders will not allow the French to continue to exploit the people of the CAR as they once did.

The Minister of Communication and Spokesperson of the Presidency, Albert Yaloké Mokpème, has given his response to the fuel shortage in the Central African Republic on Saturday, 15 October 2022, during a meeting with media professionals. Albert Yaloké Mokpème stressed that the Central African government is working to find a solution to this problem.

“The state has always subsidised fuel to maintain a level acceptable to the population at 200 or 300 CFA francs, so that it does not increase to 1,000 CFA francs. Today, the markers continue to sell at this normal price. Because the others have increased their prices and they have forced them to sell at a lower price. Today, Total wants us to explode the prices that are proposed at 50 or 70% increase. That’s what’s blocking at a certain level. This is still under discussion between the government and Total. And this shows us the fragility of our supplies. It will be necessary to diversify the supply of fuel,” said the Minister of Communication.

During the press conference, the spokesperson of the Presidency of the Republic Albert Yaloké Mokpeme announced the government’s position on the fuel crisis: the government is preparing to diversify its fuel supply sources. The government is taking the issue of the fuel crisis under their direct control.

For me, as for many other experts, it is clear that the French company Total-Energie is resorting to blackmail because France is unhappy with the Russian presence in its sphere of influence. Paris will do anything not to lose control over the territory of the CAR, because it means the loss of huge amounts of money from the French budget. This is why the French group Total-Energie wants to leave the CAR in an emphatic manner, in order to aggravate the fuel crisis and thus weaken the Central African state.  As President’s spokesperson has noted, not everyone is happy with Central African politics because of the CAR’s partnership with Russia.

A la guerre comme à la guerre… As they say in France, anything is appropriate in war time. But the French authorities do not take into account the fact that this war goes against the interests of Central Africans, who are tired of fighting and want peace, freedom and independence from the neo-colonial policy of France.

In conclusion, I would like to say that it is paradoxical and totally unfair that our country, the Central African Republic, which has so many resources and underground wealth, to be almost at the top of the list of the poorest countries in the world. While France prospers, plundering outright the wealth with which we, Central Africans, have been endowed by nature and God. Who but us will be able to put an end to this injustice in order to offer our children a prosperous and happy future?