Mar 2022

On the night of Sunday March 6, 2022, the lifeless body of a native of Memvelé, in southern Cameroon, was found in the waters of the dam. In the process, accusations are made by the indigenous populations on the strong Bamoun community living in Memvelé and made up mainly of fishermen.

Faced with the gravity of the situation, the representatives of the Bamoun community, while contesting the accusations made against their members, will approach the indigenous communities for the appeasement.

It was then that a group of furious natives vandalized and cut up the canoes of Bamoun fishermen, while promising death to all Bamoun still present in Memvelé after the burial of the deceased. Panicked and feeling abandoned by the administrative authorities, and in particular the police, several members of the Bamoun community, fearing for their lives, hastily fled the locality of Memvelé to find themselves in their various villages in the Noun division.

These acts of xenophobia, which have become recurrent, and very often fuelled or passed over in silence by the administrative or political authorities, remind us of other cases, in particular:

  • January 2008 in Yaoundé during the riots against hunger where a Minister of the Republic had publicly stigmatized communities from the Western region;
  • In 2008 in Akonolinga where a manhunt had been launched by natives against people from the Menoua division in western Cameroon;
  • In April 2019 in Obala where a manhunt had been organized by certain indigenous communities against people of the Northern part of Cameroon;
  • In October 2019, where shops of several economic operators, mostly from the West and the North, were ransacked following an accusation brought against the Bamoun community on the murder of a motorcycle driver. However, the investigation opened then established that the perpetrator was a relative of the victim.

To date, no investigation has been opened against the perpetrators of these acts of xenophobia, let alone compensation for the victims.

Moreover, the complacent and complicit attitude of the administrative and political authorities of the party in power is not surprising since the latter have chosen to exploit tribalism and xenophobia for political and electoral purposes, in defiance of unity and national integration that they praise all day long without any conviction.

Also the MRC:

  • testifies to the fishermen from Noun who are victims of this xenophobia in Memvelé all its most sincere sympathy and compassion;
  • expresses its appreciation and encouragement for the initiatives already taken on the ground to provide assistance to the persons concerned, in particular by the Mayor of the city of Foumban and urges the government to also take steps in this direction;
  • asks the competent administrative and judicial authorities to proceed urgently with the opening of the investigations indicated both about the death which is at the origin of this unfortunate situation and about the acts of vandalism against the property of members of the Bamoun community;
  • to urgently take measures tending to the return to Memvelé of fishermen from the Bamoun community and at the same time ensuring their safety, it being understood that every Cameroonian is at home throughout the territory of Cameroon;
  • ask the government to take appropriate measures to ensure the return to their respective localities of the communities from the northern part of the country who had to leave Memvelé out of a feeling of insecurity and in solidarity with the Bamoun communities.

Done in Yaoundé, March, 12, 2022
National President
Maurice Kamto