Dec 2016

My dear compatriots

After talking to you last 23rd November on the events that rocked the North-West, and especially Bamenda, it is, once again, with great difficulty that I address you, about the wild police repression of the student demonstration of 28th November 2016, on the campus of the University of Buea, capital of the South-West Region.

Freedom of expression is a constitutional principle in our country. As a result, students have the right to peacefully express their views on all matters relating to their studies.

Students claimed, among other things, payment of the bonus of excellence awarded by the Head of State, for which  competent officials had obviously not given them good explanation, that the extortion of the sum of ten thousand decided by the Vice Chancellor be stopped and Expressed solidarity with their striking teachers.

On Monday, 28th November 2016, at the request of the Vice Chancellor, authorities ordered security forces into the campus and students’ private residences. These forces inflicted torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to the students. Images of these intolerable treatments  have been around the world. In the end, after the dishonorable spectacle in the face of the world, their two main claims were found to be justified. Now that they have been humiliated, more than before, they probably feel more supportive of their teachers.

The violent management of claims of any kind whatsoever in our country is part of the modus operandi of the government. The government is closed to any criticism, considers dialogue is a a sign of weakness and prefer violence and state terror  in all circumstances. This mode of political management is archaic and incompatible with the official position of the regime on democracy.

The unprecedented violence inflicted by security forces on students raises questions about the quality of training to all those people in charge of law enforcement and order in our country, and the place given in their training to moral competence and, more generally, to respect for  human rights. The systematization of such acts should concern the Government at the highest level.

The images of these acts shocked. They show elements of the security forces showing bravery on young students, including young disarmed students tetanized by fear.

Even in situations of war, these scenes of humiliation and torture, which are shared in social networks, would lead to prosecution.

The  Cameroon  Renaissance Movement  strongly condemns acts of humiliation and of torture inflicted on students, even though on soundtracks they can be heard shouting: “No violence! ” when security forces gained access to their campus.

Therefore, in order that all those responsible and perpetrators of these horrible violations of human rights be punished for their crimes, the Government must immediately open an investigation, search and punish the culprits. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buea must resign or be removed from office as soon as possible. All students still in custody must be released immediately and the Government should give explanations to Cameroonians on this matter.

The CRM, that is still convinced that dialogue is the most appropriate political solution for a responsible government, stands alongside the student community of the University of Buea, and more particularly alongside  victims of these inhuman ,cruel and degrading treatments. He urges them to go to court so that their torturers and their hierarchy be punished.

The National President

Maurice KAMTO

Yaoundé, 1st december, 2016