- Express worry over rising deaths
The Amnesty International (AI) can confirm that at least 17 people have been killed by the security forces following yesterday’s protests in several towns of the Anglophone regions in Cameroon.
According to AI’s Lake Chad researcher, Ms. Ilaria Allegrozzi, who confirmed this in a statement on Monday also expressed worry over the development.
Allegrozzi said: “The worrying escalation witnessed over the weekend has now reached a crisis point. The use of excessive force to silence protests in the West and South-West regions of Cameroon is not the solution.
“All deaths related to these protests must be promptly and effectively investigated.”
She said that this follows a worrying reports that several people have been shot dead by security forces in massive protests- some of which turned violent- in the Cameroon’s Anglophone regions,
She said: “The reported unlawful killing of several people in the Anglophone regions by the security forces coupled with the blocks on Facebook and WhatsApp represent an extremely worrying escalation of the government’s on-going campaign to silence any form of dissent in the West and South-West regions of Cameroon.
“In order to avoid further bloodshed, the security forces must cease unnecessary and excessive use of force, and protesters should be peaceful if they want to make their voices heard. The government should investigate these killings.
“The arbitrary decision to ban meetings and movement is totally unacceptable. The authorities must respect people’s right to freedom of assembly and movement.”
Global Sentinel gathered that October 1 was the 56th anniversary of the Unification of the country.
According to reports, the pro-independence protests were staged in the North-West and the South-West where security forces were significantly deployed.
Sources on the ground reported to Amnesty International the killing of several protesters by the security forces.
On 30 September, sources also told the organization they were unable to use WhatsApp and Facebook while internet services were up and down.
This followed a 72 hours ban on public meetings and travel ordered on 29 September by the Governor of the North-West region.