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Cameroon: fuel at all costs, to avoid conflagration

The Cameroonian authorities, faced with the shortage of fuel, have decided to requisition the stocks of several companies.

Fuel has become a major issue in Cameroon. It must be said that the local authorities have some bad memories of 2008. In February of that year, the rise in fuel prices had caused discontent which had given rise to riots. Rumors of a rise in the price of bread had generated a lot of anger. In more than a week of demonstrations, the toll had been terrible: more than twenty dead and many injured after live ammunition by the police. To calm the rioters, the government granted the taxi unions a reduction in the selling price of gasoline.

When Paul Biya seems weakened by a state of health that worries his inner circle, there is no question for the Cameroonian presidency to relive the events of 2008. The palace has also bought social peace by concentrating on supplying service stations.

And it started with a series of announcements, as if to put an end, upstream, to the growing discontent. The Ministry of Water and Energy (Minee) has indeed wanted to reassure its population by indicating that it has ordered nearly 250 cubic meters of fuel to deal, in the immediate future, with the shortages caused by the conflict in Ukraine. . 000 cubic meters have already been received, when the Minee ensures to wait for 190 additional cubic meters which must arrive by boat in the next 000 hours.

Requisitioned stocks

Enough to allow carriers and taxi drivers to hold on. But Cameroon, at the moment, sees in the short term: the quantities announced by the Minee will only allow Cameroon to have a month and a half of autonomy.

Proof that the situation is worrying: while, in recent weeks, it was necessary to browse several service stations to find fuel, several companies have sounded the alarm. Like Eneo, which indicated to the government, last month, “the insufficiency of fuel at the level of the SCDP”, the Cameroonian Company of Petroleum Depots.

Faced with this situation, the Cameroon Sugar Company (Sosucam) had to make its oil reserves available to the government. A troubleshooting solution that caused the production of Sosucam to stop until April 26th.

To avoid worrying the population, Sosucam faked a supply disruption on the part of its supplier, Tradex. But the state actually requisitioned the company's fuel stock, which was stored at the SCDP.

The fuel was sent to several regions: Ngaoundéré, Garoua and Maroua, as a priority. The state seems to be worried about the situation. By favoring service stations, it is in fact endangering its industrialists. An employer discontent seems to be easier to settle than a social discontent.

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