Reference : V-P-CF-E-00208
Date : 10/2008
Caption : Batangafo district, Bezanga village. One of the villages affected by violence, with many homes destroyed.
Photographer : PENGILLEY, Teri
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : CR Royaume-Uni
Description : A communication officer for the ICRC, examines Dokamba Albert's former home. Dokamba 41, a teacher, is having to live in a neighbouring village with his family until he can try to rebuild his home after the rainy season.

This is an all too familiar story in Central African Republic. Dokamba Albert from Bezanga also saw his native village burnt to the ground after tensions erupted between the villagers and the highwaymen. Dokamba and his family ran for their lives to the bush where they hid for several months.

"We were terrified so we fled into the forest to try and make our way to the next village," said Dokamba.

When they felt safe enough to venture out of their hiding place, they retuned to find their home had been destroyed and their village showed the scars of the inhabitants fleeing in fear.

"In the past you would never have seen such tall grass growing in the village," said Dokamba. "It was much better looked after and our fields were properly tended but we can't do that anymore since the men came and attacked us."

Dokamba, his wife and children are currently living in the neighbouring village where Dokamba is a teacher at the school but he returns to the village where his home was several times a week to his fields of cassava, maize, peanuts and sesame to provide food for his family.

"I'm staying away during the rainy season because at the moment it is impossible to make the bricks and gather the thatch for my roof but when the dry season comes, I'll return to rebuild my house and live here."

"What has happened is not going to stop me from coming back to rebuild my home. This is my village, I was born here. Where I'm living now is just the place where I work - I want to come back to my home," continued Dokamba.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 3504x2336
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour