“I am afraid of a real disaster”
The coach of the Equatorial Guinea team is stranded in Malabo, confined to his home and unable to return to France. Sébastien Migné calls on the French authorities to ensure his repatriation and that of the other French.
RFI: Sébastien Migné, you are currently stuck in Equatorial Guinea. In which circumstances ?
Sébastien Migné : We were a bit overwhelmed by the situation. A dozen days ago, the championship was still in progress and then everything was stopped suddenly. The country is almost at a standstill and the borders have been closed for 30 days. Today, we are unable to reach France, or Kenya which could interest me since part of my family lives there. I was a coach there (May 2018 to August 2019) and for reasons of school calendar, it was decided that my family would stay in Kenya until June. But she finds herself in the same situation as me …
We can imagine your concern and impatience to find a solution…
Exactly. But I’m less afraid for myself. I do what the majority of French people do, I stay confined, I go out once a week to do my shopping. I am especially worried about my family, knowing that there are three young children including my handicapped elder. We don’t know how we would react if there were respiratory problems due to the coronavirus. We know that the care is not the same as in Europe so we are apprehensive and we would like to join our adopted land.
Are you in contact with other French people who are in the same situation as you, in Equatorial Guinea ?
I am in contact with some French people, with the French ambassador but who unfortunately cannot do anything… For the moment, there is no health emergency recognized by the French government in Equatorial Guinea, which would encourage it to provide a plane to take out nationals. I’m afraid of too late a reaction. We do not know how the situation can evolve on the African continent. I’m afraid of a real disaster. We live a little in anxiety.
Equatorial Guinea is not yet massively affected by the coronavirus?
I am based in Malabo, the capital. Nine cases have been officially reported. But the doctor of the national team, who works at the hospital in Malabo, is much more alarmist… I don’t have figures in mind but a few days ago, we were closer to the hundred cases than nine announced. We don’t know how we’re going to stem the problem here…
What appeal do you make to the French authorities ?
I left it with the first speech of the President of the Republic, who announced very clearly that everything would be done so that French nationals could return. We are very much in my case, based in Central Africa. I don’t think it’s the same in Cameroon, Gabon or Congo. We are waiting and I hope that an air convoy can be organized to bring back the French who wish to return.