Black Thursday In Bamenda

Army truck clearing the way for some of the CPDM big wigs to leave town

Army truck clearing the way for some of the CPDM big wigs to leave town

At least four persons have been confirmed killed, and one under very critical condition in hospital following street confrontations between the population and the armed forces in Bamenda today. A police station was also set ablaze and all the streets of Bamenda barricaded at short intervals.

Hundred of teargas canisters and life bullets were fired at the population at Santa Park, Old Town, Meta Quarter, Ntarikon, Che Street, Hospital Rounda About, Mile 4 Nkwen, Sonac Street, Veterinary junction, Food market and City Chemist Round About as the police and Gendarmes, later joined by the army tried desperately to clear commercial Avenue and some major streets of the town to enable the Prime Minister Philomon Yang and the Secretary General of the CPDM Jean Nkuete and CPDM supporters to stage a rally and march pass at the Grand Stand, Commercial Avenue.

Today started as normal as any other day with no hint of trouble in the air. Businesses opened as usual, taxis and “benskin” were circulating as usual, the markets were full as many residents rushed in probably to stock their supplies. The only signal that there could be some trouble was the heavy deployment of the police and gendarmes and water cannon at some major junctions like the City Chemist Round About.

The Bamenda ceremonial grounds had been decorated and filled with hundred of chairs ahead of the rally, the PM and the Secretary General of the CPDM and the now infamous Atanga Nji Paul were in town too alongside some CPDM MPS and Senators and some rumoured  ghost militants ferried in from other regions to boast the attendance.

It’s still not very clear how the clashes started. The police according to some youths had maintained a perimetre around the Grand Stand and had been exchanging cordial and bitter words with the population. It would appear some of the youths pretended and asked to be let into the ground on the pretext that they wanted to march for the CPDM. It’s here that they succeeded to get in and scatter some chairs.

Teargas fired at the Commercial Avenue to Disperse the population

Teargas fired at the Commercial Avenue to Disperse the population

The police it would appear in an effort to restore order fired tear gas sparking the clashes of today that has lead to at least four deaths, several injured, the 3rd District Police Station burnt down, a vehicle supposedly belonging to Atanga Nji Paul burnt alongside one each belonging to CAMPOST and CDE infront of their respective offices. Tyres are still burning in several streets of the town where the skyline was first turned into white from tear gas and later black from the burning tyres. Several streets in Bamenda are practically inaccessible now despite the efforts of the army to clear them to make way for some of the CPDM big wigs to pass through under very heavy escort.

The population also succeded to hoist an Ambazonia flag at the Liberty Square which was later taken doen by the police and gendarmes

Meanwhile, the PM and the SG of the CPDM Central Committee and other party members where held down at the Ayaba Hotel where they still nursed hopes of going to the Grand Stand for the rally. This idea was later abandoned from every indication when the armed forces backed by a chopper failed to give the green light to move ahead.

The town has gradually descended into a period of calm as at the time of filing this report.


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