Paul Biya Compensates Affected Persons of Eseka Train Accident

FCFA 215 million have been distributed to some 64 representatives of deceased victims and those uncounted for. The ceremony to hand cheques to the beneficiaries was presided at by the Secretary General of the Prime Ministers’ Office, Séraphin Magloire Fouda.

Shawn-Nathan EPANG

The government of the Republic of Cameroon under the authority of President Paul Biya is keeping its promise in the management of victims of the Eseka train accident which occurred on October 21, 2016 leading to 80 deaths, several injured and some uncounted for. President Paul Biya apart from declaring a Day of Mourning when the unfortunate accident occurred, also announced that victims will be compensated. He announced several measures to be taken, amongst which are the construction of a monument in memory of the victims, FCFA 1 billion financial assistance to the victims amongst others. Already, injured victims were treated free of charge by the State, the memorial monument is under construction while the technical inter-ministerial committee that was created is also still at work.

It is therefore against this backdrop that the Head of State, President Paul Biya, ordered for the payment of FCFA 215 million to some 64 representatives of deceased victims and persons uncounted for. The Secretary General at the Prime Minister’s Office, Séraphin Magloire Fouda, on Wednesday October 3, proceeded to hand over the cheques to the beneficiaries.

While handing over the financial assistance to 60 representatives of deceased victims and four representatives of those who have not been found till date, the Prime Ministers’ scribe said the money is not in any way indemnities to the lives of the deceased but rather a show of State solidarity.  The financial assistance is part of the FCFA 1 billion allocation made by the President of the Republic for the victims of the Eseka train derailment. It concerns three categories of victims as explained by the Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Comities that was created to management the victims. Firstly, victims who suffered physical prejudices, next of kin to the deceased and uncounted persons. 60 out of the 80 deceased victims’ representatives collected cheques during the event at the Star Building in Yaounde while the Technical Committee is still awaiting documents of 20 others. The inter-ministerial had earlier listed 80 deaths, 977 injured and seven missing persons.

While the beneficiaries can already cash their cheques at any Afriland First Bank Branch, the inter-ministerial committee is still continuing with its work of treating their various files for eventual compensation after the first phase that took place last Wednesday in Yaounde.

The Secretary General of the Prime Minister’s Office, used the event that was characterised by sad emotions to once again present the Head of State’s condolence to the bereaved families. The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Transport, Jean Ernest Ngalle Bibehe who said the Head of State could not forget the victims of the Eseka catastrophe adding that injured victims were taken care of by the State.

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