Southern Cameroons: Keeping The Troops Busy
Once again a distant government resorts to violence in the wake of price hikes, unresolved national inequalities, and a disregard for human rights.
Below is an excerpt of a press release released by the
We have in recent memory issued countless Press Releases and Communiques condemning the use of disproportionate and excessive force by the […] troops of la Republique du Cameroun, aimed at silencing any dissenting voices by the peace loving
Since President Paul Biya acceded to the presidency a little over 25 years ago, the people of his country […] have experienced lots of political, social and economic problems such as systematic rigging of elections, corruption, embezzlement […] inflation, growing unemployment of the educated youths, tribalism, discrimination and sharp increase in the prices of basic commodities such as fuel, cement, zinc, flour, rice etc.
Faced with the inability to cope with the situation, leaders of drivers trade unions called for a reduction in the price of petrol, which has witnessed frequent and some times unannounced price hikes. They issued a warning to the authorities that if there was no reduction in the fuel prices, they would park their vehicles and stop work beginning Monday 25 February 2008.
It was on that day that frantic government officials met with the leaders of drivers’ trade unions and agreed on the meager reduction of 6 francs [€ 0.009] per liter of petrol.
Dissatisfied with the insignificant price cuts, the inhabitants of
Addressing the nation briefly on radio and television on 27th February, President Paul Biya failed to pacify the people. Displaying unprecedented arrogance, the head of state accused the opposition calling them “apprentice sorcerers” who were manipulating the youth to unseat him.
On 28th February 2008, a contingent of military personnel arrived Bamenda from the Koutaba military base in la Republique du Cameroun to reinforce the forces in Bamenda […] these […] troops shot and killed:
1. Fontoh Ashley Neba (14)
2. Forchu Anthony Triya (mid 20s)
3. Emmanuel Che (24)
4. Devoline Awa
5. Nyetedem Peter (30)
6. Bernard Ngwa
Many were wounded among whom are Gerald Nchia and Janet Nimbong who have been hospitalised.
Over a hundred people were allegedly arrested, tortured and detained.
The situation in Kumba, Buea and Victoria in Southern Zone was similar to that of Bamenda.
In Kumba alone over eighty (80) youths, who have never known descent [sic] life were arrested.
We call on the youths of Southern Cameroons to take cognizance of the fact that they are victims of mass unemployment, discrimination, and […] their bright future lies with the liberation and restoration of the statehood and sovereign independence of
[W]e implore all democratic friendly countries to […] grant assistance to the people of
Meanwhile as we issue this Press Release, it is pertinent to point out that […m]any if not all the suspects have not been allowed access to a lawyer, although la Republique du Cameroun boasts it is a democratic state where the rule of law prevails.
We urgently invite national and international human rights organisations and the diplomatic community in