Cameroon’s anglophone prisoners riot in Yaoundé
Nearly 600 prisoners - mostly Anglophone political opponents and separatists - mutinied at the Yaoundé Central Prison on Monday, July 22.
The English-speaking separatists incarcerated in Yaoundé’s central prison mutinied on July 22 in the middle of the day.
- Nearly 600 English-speaking detainees, joined by activists from the Mouvement pour la renaissance de la République (MRC), took over the prison yard to denounce prison overcrowding, judicial delays and the tightening of their detention conditions.
The guards withdrew to the watchtowers.
In the late afternoon, they tried to force entry into the special quarters where many former ministers imprisoned as part of the anti-corruption operation Sparrowhawk are being held.
“We don’t want to eat maize porridge anymore”
The mutiny was broadcast live on Facebook in a video shot in the prison’s inner courtyard. We hear Mamadou Mota, first vice-president of the MRC, say: “We no longer want to eat maize porridge”.
- In other videos posted on Facebook, several separatists sing the anthem of “Ambazonie”, the independent state they want to create in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.
The police stormed the prison in the early evening. Shots were heard and buildings were set on fire.
The protests come as the UN estimates 1.3m people need humanitarian aid in North West and South West Cameroon, which has been under siege by the central government since 2017.
In the latest attacks on civilians, Human Rights Watch say four more people have been killed in the last month in the region.
This article first appeared in Jeune Afrique