In a statement released this weekend, Amnesty International condemned the “abusive” use of force against demonstrators in Bamenda, the regional capital of North-West, where, officially, two people were killed last week.
After the Catholic church which condemned the brutal police repression against peaceful and unarmed demonstrators, the NGO specializing in the defense of human rights, denounced the “abusive” use of force in the English-speaking part from the country.
The NGO wishes to know the full truth about this crackdown, “Cameroon authorities must shed light on the circumstances of these killings and wounds by immediately conducting thorough, impartial and effective investigations. Those who are reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for these deaths must be brought to justice, “said Ilaria Allegrozzi, an Amnesty International researcher for Central Africa.
“Responding to violence through violence is likely to inflame an already tense situation and jeopardize lives,” she said.
On December 8, individuals who demonstrated against the holding in Bamenda of a meeting of the CPDM, the ruling party, were violently repressed by the security forces.
According to the government, two people were killed. Eight members of the security forces (4 gendarmes and 4 policemen) were wounded. While a young woman was also injured and partially burned, a CPDM officer also seriously injured her head.
While community sources and eyewitnesses had announced four deaths and more than twenty wounded.
Concerning the material toll, 9 vehicles including those of the Commander of Legion of Gendarmerie, the second in command of the B.R.I.M. (Rapid Motorized Infantry Battalion), the DO of Bamenda 3rd, the Cameroonian Waters, the CAMPOST, the special rapid intervention teams of the police, ESIR, the Gendarmerie Nationale, as well as two vehicles had been destroyed or burnt.
Numerous shops and other public kiosks, two public buildings, including a Police Station and several pavilions of the Regional Hospital of Bamenda, have been looted, sacked or destroyed.
The protesters had hoisted flags of the secessionist movement called Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) in some crossroads and on vandalized public buildings.
For two days, the situation has returned to normal. Many shops have opened the doors again.