May 2016

After the  illegal, discriminatory and politically assumed double decision  by the sub-divisional officer of  Bertoua 1 prohibiting the holding of the CRM rally on April 23rd and April 30th, 2016, the meeting with the  Minister of Territorial Administration and decentralization (MINATD) at the price of humiliation in front of cameras Monday, April 24th, 2016 and last Friday, April 29th  at 16.30pm  the National President of the Party, Prof. Maurice KAMTO, and Executive Board members were summoned to MINATD for the final decision of the  Government on the planned meeting the next day, April 30th at more than 300 km from Yaoundé.

After this courtesy meeting, Mr. René Emmanuel Sadi, MINATD, has, despite his diplomatic skills, hinted that he was receiving CRM leaders, less as a representative of the State, and therefore guarantor of international commitments of Cameroon, the Constitution and Law No. 55/90 of 19 December 1990 governing public meetings and manifestations, but more as the former Secretary General of the CPDM and yet to be disclosed candidate to the highest office.

Indeed, while the National President Maurice KAMTO called for the lifting of the discriminatory ban on legal grounds, the MINATD was citing political arguments, security and even sociological reasons to justify the ban to the astonishment of the CRM delegation.

Reminding the minister of pictures of CPDM militants parading in Bertoua last February 6th at the political comedy called “Call for candidacy and early presidential elections” along with   administrative authorities who must be neutral, and on March 24th, during the birthday celebration of their party was not enough to awake in Mr. René Emmanuel Sadi, the sense of the state and the expected republican surge.

René Emmanuel Sadi seemed threatened by the mere possibility of president KAMTO getting in touch with the Cameroonian people convinced to be the supposed successor to President Biya at the head of the state, as some dignitaries of his party and some people whisper assuming that he politically survives the war of succession already underway within the CPDM. Thus, even when President KAMTO reminded him by emphasizing that the martyr city of Maroua, the epicentre of the terrorist attacks of Boko Haram, had hosted a rally of the CPDM on the ‘Call for Paul Biya candidacy “on April 23rd and therefore it was simply discriminatory to ban a public manifestation of CRM in Bertoua 1 for ” security “reasons, he tried less republican explanations.

He dared to say that this meeting of the CPDM, attended by all the administrative authorities of the Far North region as  some pictures available confirm – which was widely broadcast by state media that systematically side track  CRM, and for which, according to the media, more than 1,321 university students and 1,000 high school students were recruited, by force,  in violation of  President Biya own  slogan  to counter the breakthrough of the opposition among the youth stated that “school for students and politics for politicians”  had not been banned because it was organized by  sons and daughters of the region. This curious argument would naturally suggest that President KAMTO who is not a son of the Eastern Region should not have,  in terms of the  fundamentally tribal functioning of power, be tempted by a rally outside his native region !

After this second hearing, Mr. René Emmanuel Sadi informed  President KAMTO and his delegation  that the Governor of the East region, the divisional officer of Lom and Djerem, the  Bertoua 1 sub-divisional officer and top security officials had convinced him that the holding of the CRM rally in Bertoua, Saturday, April 30th, was capable of seriously endangering people and property in a region already subjected to a “chronic insecurity” made of  kidnapping, assassinations and attacks by armed gangs.

President KAMTO has, in the traditional republican stand of CRM, noted the decision of MINATD before expressing his deep regret of an illegal and patently discriminatory decision confirming the existence, at the highest level of the state, of a plot against CRM in favour of the CPDM and implemented by the corps of administrative authorities. He nevertheless informed the MINATD that he would travel to Bertoua the next day not to hold a rally, but to meet and support, within the party regional headquarters, his comrades who, for months, have been working for the holding of the rally finally banned. But the MINATD “advised” him against that for security reasons. President KAMTO told him he appreciated his attention, but maintained his decision to go to Bertoua the next day.

On Saturday 30 April, after leaving Yaoundé very early at the head of a large delegation, about ten kilometres from Bertoua, the motorcade of the CRM President was violently stopped, in the bush, by heavily armed men, with faces concealed behind hoods and wearing heavy helmets. Initially, the delegation thought to have fallen into the clutches of highway robbers which MINATD, after consultation with the administrative authorities of the East region, had put forward to justify the prohibition of the rally. Everyone was ordered out of vehicles; after a thorough and very nervous search, a manifestly vexatious identification whose goal was public humiliation, members of the delegation were informed that, by order of the administrative authorities, they were banned from entering the city of Bertoua. It should be recalled that before coming across this barrier of men in black and armed to the teeth with  invisible faces, the convoy of President KAMTO  met,  in the city of Doumé, several dozen kilometres to Bertoua, CRM militants from Yaoundé  ordered back, just a few kilometres to Bertoua, and deported by police and gendarmerie.
After the convoy of President KAMTO was forced to stop, a heated debate took place between some members of the executive board of the Party and men in black, heavily armed and hidden behind their masks. CRM Militants claiming that they should be served individual orders prohibiting them to enter the city. In this disorder, traffic came to a halt, no vehicle could drive to nor out of the city. Sometime later, those men in black with invisible faces were ordered to allow the motorcade of President KAMTO continue to Bertoua. In reality, this apparent understanding hid a manoeuvre. Indeed, it will take about three hours to drive through the ten kilometres from the first place the convoy was stopped and the regional headquarters of CRM.

At every half kilometre the motorcade was nervously stopped by very young policemen and very nervous soldiers, and everyone, including the national president Maurice KAMTO, former Minister of the Republic, humiliated through a vexatious identification process and an irritating vehicle search.

Finally, taking into account  the temerity of President KAMTO and his comrades of the executive board, the authorities,  clearly acting as militants of the CPDM, decided to escort CRM leaders  like  dangerous members of Boko Haram or an armed rebel movement, by over-armed  mixed force  placed under the joint operational command of the commander of the eastern gendarmerie legion himself, police regional bosses, the DST and even DGRE, the  spy service whose operational territory is normally abroad, the regional commander of the Police Special  Intervention units  ESIR, and  the commander of the gendarmerie intervention squads’ group (GPI).

Despite this particular police attention that the CRM party did not want and  which could imply that its leaders were now safe from police humiliations,  President KAMTO and his delegation will undergo  several other searches and identifications. Better still, the governor, who will block the progression of President KAMTO in defiance of any economic consideration, had improvised an event on the only road that serves the regions of Adamawa, North, Far North and countries like CAR and Chad, Saturday, April 30th, just as the CRM convoy was trying to enter the city. It was then that President Kamto decided to abandon his vehicle on the roadside to finish, the last five kilometres to the city, on foot followed by members of the executive Board. Surprised by the determination of President KAMTO who, at no time, had given in to provocations of the administrative authorities of the Eastern Region, the governor and his entourage lifted the road block. The President’s driver and members of his delegation reached up to President KAMTO. The CRM delegation, always under escort of the mixed force to intimidate and particularly to keep the president of KAMTO at bay from the people, will be repeatedly stopped and humiliated yet without giving up.

On arrival in the city, members of the delegation of the CRM National President will have confirmation of a manoeuvre which some of them heard of a few days before. In fact, officials in charge of cultural and sports activities in the city of Bertoua had programmed various activities with clear operational objectives. A cycling race, not planned in the  activities of the regional federation in which took part curious cyclists,  organized at the time CRM was supposed to hold their rally was in full swing in the city  around a false popular atmosphere with some people in  CPDM uniform and some administrative authorities in full dress. The operational objective of this race, which certainly will not fit into the annals of Cameroon cycling, was to divert the people from the presence of President KAMTO in the city.
Hundreds of plastic chairs were arranged, on the celebrations square, before a completely empty tribune, with policemen in ordinary uniform and easy-going scattered around and a dance group made of children visibly tired to dance for empty chairs waved without joy. This rough dramatization was to anticipate a possible attempt by the CRM to take the square, notwithstanding the prohibition of the sub-divisional officer of Bertoua I.

Finally arrived at party headquarters, CRM leaders noticed that the whole area was cordoned off by security forces overexcited, especially nervous and ready to use their weapons. Some local residents were denied access to their homes, only the motorcade of President KAMTO was allowed to enter the area, journalists systematically sent away, peaceful militants beaten and denied access to their headquarters their cameras confiscated but returned later. It is finally in a neighbourhood and in besieged headquarters that president KAMTO, to whom no public humiliation was spared and who went through many obstacles between 10 am and 2 pm, addressed some reckless militants who managed to escape the vigilance of the multiple security cordons.

As announced in MINATD a day earlier, the National President informed militants present and surrounded by police and gendarmes, he accepted the unlawful, unfair, discriminatory decision, harmful to the nation, taken by the administrative authorities and politically approved by René Emmanuel Sadi. And therefore, his presence in the town of Bertoua was simply to encourage them to continue the implantation of the party in the region. The banned rally was intended to celebrate the encouraging initial results of their work in the region despite bureaucratic and police harassment and provocations of some militants of the CPDM against them. Some threats of CPDM militants have already been brought to the attention of the authorities through a complaint to the police.

President KAMTO also wished to remind his comrades of their obligation to respect laws, institutions and authorities, despite the obviously partisan attitude of the corps of administrative authorities. Facing the illegal and discriminatory decision of the sub-divisional officer of Bertoua 1, CRM who, unlike his opponents of the CPDM and their agents in government, believes in the power of law and restorative capacity of justice, seized the High Court of Lom and Djerem to overturn the decision in accordance with Law No. 55/90 of 19 December 1990 governing public meetings and manifestations. The High Court surrendered CRM to arbitrary administrative authorities led by openly political motives using curious decisions and manoeuvres to delay the opening of the debates before Saturday, April 30th. Caught in the judicial manoeuvre, Thursday, April 28th the party  urgently sent some militants in Bertoua to go and hand over to the High Court there President KAMTO complaint although the High Court had curiously and successively rejected complaints from the party’s lawyer  and that of  its National Secretary, Mr. Ndong NVEH.

Along the way, some comrades were victims, two kilometres to the town of Ayos, of a serious traffic accident that sound law enforcement could have avoided. President, KAMTO informed, immediately went to assist them in the Ayos hospital with some members of the executive Board. CRM leaders discovered with dismay the sad working conditions in this hospital, yet historical monument of the country. Plunged into total darkness, no ambulance available and without any suitable equipment for first aid even though it is located on a poorly constructed road and therefore very dangerous, and with particularly heavy traffic, the hospital of Ayos, with sons regularly appointed to the very highest positions of the state, is really dilapidated. Facing this sad reality that the health minister, who always comes in so far only after tragedies, would have to change with another KOUMATEKEL case, President KAMTO decided to convey his militants to the Yaoundé Emergency Centre in the night.
Several days after the accident, one of the victims remains in serious condition and under intensive medical attention at the Yaoundé Central Hospital. That terrible night of Thursday 28th to Friday 29th April, at about 2am, while bringing home one of the victims of the accident some party militants were victims of an attack by armed men and rigorously stripped.  All those, at all levels MINATD, at the High Court,  administrative authorities of the Eastern region, maneuvered to prohibit the CRM from holding a rally  duly declared,  are morally and politically accountable.   All this took place in a capital city where most police forces are busy with political surveillance and security at dignitaries’ houses.

CRM calls as witness Cameroonians and the international community about the state conspiracy against the party since its launch. CRM invites the top officials of the country to play down the political game unless they are prepared to take full responsibility whatever may occur during “war games” that are mounted whenever the party organizes a meeting or a public event. Convinced that change in Cameroon should be peaceful and at the ballot box, CRM also invites its members and supporters not to give in to provocations of the CPDM, implemented by the corps of administrative authorities.

Clearly overwhelmed by its catastrophic social and economic record after nearly 35 years in power that they do not want to be accountable for, the CDPM plans to lead the country into a civil war by their actions, the Cameroonian people must refuse to follow them but bet that another Cameroon is possible through the ballot box.
CRM keeps calling for a consensual reform of the electoral code, of ELECAM and of some provisions of the Constitution related to the electoral process. CRM  finally invites Cameroonians to massively go  and register on the electoral rolls in order to  be able to decide , on due time,  whether they want to remain under the rule of a  regime clearly overtaken by events and trying to hide its systemic incompetence by using political and police terror.

The panic that gains the regime every time president KAMTO meets the people does not bode well for the upcoming elections. What is certain is that CRM  which vows to comply with laws and ruling authorities, when same authorities are doing their job legally, will go to elections whatever the circumstances  and will fight peacefully and courageously to the end to defend the choice of Cameroonians. CRM informs the opinion that despite the anti-republican barriers faced in Bertoua, where we will return as soon as the authorities allow, the campaign called “National Renaissance Caravan” started painfully on 21th November 2015 in Bafoussam will be very soon in another region of the country. During this National Caravan, the party does not call, contrary to the insinuations of the regime, for a popular uprising or revolt. The party presents its political plans to the population, explains that another Cameroon is possible, that they are not condemned to misery, injustice, administrative harassment, that foreign governments are not accountable for the bad choices and poor economic performance of the Government nor the compulsive embezzlement of public funds and generally poor governance of the country. The National Caravan open to all citizens usually ends with the invitation to massively go and register as voters.

After the incredible episode of the banned rally in Bertoua, that should not discourage  Cameroonians, CRM vows that politicians and officials, benefitting from  corrupting perks associated to their functions or positions, working selfishly and cowardly to stifle freedom of expression, association, and civic rights of the people in favour of the CPDM only under the pretext “of orders received,”  be courageous enough to continue defending the dictatorship that oppresses the people, even if they fall into disgrace or so just to be thrown into the retirement anonymity meaning  the generally miserable life of Cameroonians, they are considering with great anxiety..

Communication Team,
02 may 2016.