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General News of Thursday, 6 March 2014

Source: standard-tribune.com

Boko Haram offsets cycling tour

At the request of the International Cycling Union (ICU), Northern Cameroon has been cut off from the international cycling race that begins on Sunday.

The cycling federation (CCF) was asked to keep the race south of the country, cancel it entirely or face a pull out of European and other foreign competitors.

ICU cited recent insecurity in the region, including at least two targeted kidnap of European nationals in northern Cameroon over the last few years by Boko Haram.

The race next week is coming just days after the Nigerian Islamic sect launched its first armed attack on Cameroonian territory in which seven people died.

Many European nations have warned their compatriots to stay away from the north, which has also become insecure as a result of the conflict in Central Africa Republic.

CCF said the cycling tour will now cover only 1075.5 kilometers across five region: South, Center, Littoral, South West and West.

North West and East regions have been left out of the two-week and 14-team competition for reason unconnected to insecurity.

Foreign cyclists will come from France, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Gabon, la Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal and the Republic of Congo.

The race will begin in Ebolowa on Sunday with a 155-kilometer climb to Yaounde, followed by a 160-kilometer descend from Pouma to Kribi on Monday.

Kribi-Douala, the longest lap measuring 178 kilometers will be run on 12 March, followed the next day by a 100-kilometer ride through lush plantations from Douala to Buea via Limbe.

It will then be run from Mbanga to Bafang (125 kilometers), Melong-Dschang-Bafoussam (105 kilometers), Bangante-Bafia (125 kilometers) and finally Bafia-Yaounde on 18 March.

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