BY ATIA TILARIOUS AZOHNWI
After a somewhat peaceful start of January, things turned sour over the weekend with blood flowing in Balong, Muyuka Subdivision on Friday, January 25 and in Douala on Saturday, January 26, 2019.
At Mpundo Balong in Muyuka, 11 youths were reportedly gunned down in cold blood on Friday. Some accounts suggest that the young men were playing football before they were rounded up and killed.
An amateur video making rounds on social media shows the shocking image of the eleven lifeless bodies lying on the ground. According to the author of the video, the killing was allegedly perpetrated by soldiers of the Cameroonian army, a claim we cannot independently authenticate.
MRC protesters shot in Douala
Douala was the venue, supporters of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) of Prof Maurice Kamto sandwiched by anti-riot security officers were the actors and Saturday, January 26, 2019 was the chosen day.
As the CRM supporters staged a ‘peaceful’ protest against what they call an electoral hold up in Cameroon, the police were present to stop them on grounds that the march was illegal.
A prominent member of the CRM, Celestin Djamen a onetime member of the Social Democratic Front was apparently the first to receive rubber bullets on the leg at the Makepe roundabout in Douala and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Before long, pictures made rounds on social media showing defiant Barrister Michel Ndoki soaked in blood. We would later learn that the blood was the result of four bullets she received in her thigh.
Videos and pictures that have since gone viral on social media show protesters being teargased and other being shot by the anti-riot police officers and gendarmes. The protesters in their thousands are said to have been beaten and wounded by the police.
These CRM militants were seen carrying placards denouncing electoral fraud, violence in the North West and South West Regions and corruption in the country.
We learnt that Prof Kamto appeared at Ndokoti and addressed his followers without being teargased. “Tell all those who are still at home, tell your parents to come out. I am a parent I am here,” Prof Kamto stated. “There is no turning back. This is just the beginning of justice in our country,” he added
Kamto promised to make sacrifices for a better Cameroon as he addressed his supporters at Ndokoti in Douala III Subdivision after members of his party had been brutalised, shot and arrested by anti-riot security forces.
“The time is now or never. We have to sacrifice for you,” he averred.
Kamto still believes that he won the October 7, 2018 presidential elections. He has since vowed to disrupt the country as he stays glued to his claim of being president-elect.
Kamto supporters are also reported to have invaded Cameroon’s embassy in Paris, forcing the authorities to temporarily shut down the facility due to the untold damage caused by the invaders.
Atanga Nji, Rene Sadi react
In a swift response, Communication Minister Rene Sadi and Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Nji condemned the protests in Mbouda, Bafoussam, Yaounde and Douala, warning that the law will be fully implemented this time around.
“At a time when Cameroon is resolutely moving towards its emergence, everything must and will be done to preserve peace and stability,” Sadi told pressmen Yaounde.
The Minister indicated that the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM staged a series of u authorised public demonstrations called “white marches” on Saturday, 26th January 2018.
The Ministers say “several individuals caught in flangrante delicto disrupting public order and perpetrating various assaults were arrested and placed in custody. 62 people were arrested in Yaounde, 42 in Bafoussam, 13 in Mbouda and seven in Douala”.
Sadi said government strongly condemns these unacceptable manoeuvres to destabilise Cameroon under the false pretext of an alleged electoral hold-up.
He appealed to youths to show sense of responsibility, patriotism and a civic spirit.
On his part, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji questioned the real objective of the protest adding that the CRM party took part in all stages of the electoral process of four months ago.
He added that political parties must respect the contract they signed with the Ministry of Territorial Administration else they could be suspended temporally or completely banned.
They said they arrested will stay in custody and answer for their offences before the competent law courts.