International organisations are calling for an investigation after security forces killed at least four people during protests in Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
Amnesty International describes actions taken by the state to be excessive – as security forces fired live ammunition and teargas at a market despite the lack of evidence that protests were in fact taking place.
Unrest in two English-speaking regions has developed over the past month due to claims of discrimination. A protester in Kumba states, “Southern Cameroonians do not benefit anything from the French Cameroon. We want this to end this year.”
Protests were initiated by lawyers against the use of French in courts and later expanded to schools and universities as teachers agreed to go on strike over the dominance of French. Tassang Wilfred, the secretary general of the teachers’ trade union in Cameroon states, “The 1998 law on the orientation of education clearly says that the two sub-systems of education are independent and autonomous… [But] the French system of education is the majority and has been trying to wipe out our system of education, and that means wiping out our own cultural heritage.”
Local journalists say that they are being harassed by authorities while state-controlled media is not representing the plight of local communities.
It is estimated that at least 100 people have been detained for taking part in demonstrations.