It is 7:00 am local time in the village of Gomoko, a locality in the plateau region of the Central African Republic. Sylvain Ndoukoussou, the Chief of Gomoko is setting up for a special day. There are two major celebrations billed for Thursday May 13, a feast of the ascension for the Christian community, and the end of the holy month of Ramadan for their Muslim neighbors.
But there’s a twist. The whole community has dedicated Ramadan to honor a Fulani family. They have been staying in the village for months after fleeing violence by armed groups.
"Since the last few days, we and our Muslim brothers have been preparing for their Ramadan feast. This is a big day. We have finished with prayers, you notice that it is raining right now, afterwards we will celebrate together", the chief said.
A bowl of boiled rice is made ready for the community to feast on. They gather around the meal and in turn dip their hands to eat. It’s a very simple meal. But there’s laughter and joy.
"We thank the village of Gomoko who helped us a lot. We suffered a lot but since our arrival here we find something to eat, and we celebrated Ramadan well. Thanks to the chief of GOMOKO who helped us with the whole community, we find serenity, but we wish that things go back to normal", said Ahmadou, a displaced Fulani in Gomoko.
The Funali tribe fled from the town of Baoro, located some 450 km from the capital Bangui to the west of the Central African Republic. They made the journey along with their priced cattle.
Correspondent Samuel Thierry Nzam reports that: "The Ramadan celebration went well here between the two communities, the Christian and the Muslim community. But let me talk about the Fulani ethnic group. There is a problem, the nearest school is five kilometers from here and the health center is 45 km away and we are 50 km from Bangui. The population is calling on authorities for an urgent help.’’