An article written by one of our McGill Echenberg Fellows, whose name we cannot disclose.
When you land in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), you quickly understand the extent of the humanitarian crisis looming in the country. The runaway is just few meters from a huge camp hosting internally displaced people (IDPs) who have sought home there following an outbreak of violence in December 2013.
I remember having stared at those people from the window of the Air France plane and have swallowed my saliva which tasted bitter. IDPs stay in makeshift shelters and stand by abandoned planes, living in deplorable conditions, lacking access to food, clean water and basic social services. Kids play at the edge of the runaway, while French soldiers armed to the teeth try to pull them back. Some of the passengers who got off from my plane did look at the site, but the majority walked on to speed up customs formalities.