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Transport Minister Lifts Ban On Touristique Travel Agency On Exceptional Basis

By Etienne Mainimo

Cameroon Minister of Transport, Jean Ernest Masséna Ngallè Bibéhè has lifted the suspension placed on Touristique Express SA following a traffic accident that occurred on May 9, on National Road No. 1.

The ban was lifted on May 15 following a press release signed and made public by the transport minister. Minister Ngallè Bibéhè pointed out that among other things, the ban has been lifted pursuant to the firm commitment made by the traveling company to the immediate implementation of measures aimed at the optimal security of its passengers.

Besides, the installation of centralized management and monitoring for interurban transport on its entire fleet and the recycling of its drivers, the Minister said, the travel agency has improved the general working conditions including the regularization of the salary situation of its staff.

The minister also indicated that the lifting of the ban comes after considering among other pleas including the one formulated by the Cameroonian Consumers’ League highlighting the social concerns caused by this situation and asking for clemency.

“In view of the numerous citizen requests on the difficulties of travel to the northern part of the country and taking into account the high mobility induced by the HADJ approach and when going on vacation as well as in the spirit of the celebration of National Unity Day on May 20… Consequently, it is authorized to resume its activities,” the Minister said in a press release.

14 people were killed and many injured in a fatal accident that took place on May 9 between Garoua-Boulaï and Ngaoundéré. On May 11, Touristique Express SA was banned for a month and could be renewed.  Minister Ngallé Bibéhè also prohibited the rental or transfer of the company’s rolling stock. The license of the driver involved in the accident will also be suspended for two years.

In the meantime, the decision by the Minister was considered harsh and the suspension was believed to leave room for “inexperienced occasional carriers and could cause even more danger to travelers.