By Andrew Nsoseka & Njodzeka Danhatu
Some detainees, mostly Anglophones, imprisoned at the Yaoundé maximum security prison in relation to the Anglophone crisis, have reportedly been taken out of the prison after a day-long protest that turned violent, extending late into the night of July 22.
Atlantic Chronicles has reliably been informed that over 360 detainees have not been accounted for, by their mates after the military took control, and subdued the protesters.
Our source has debunked earlier claims that some inmates were killed. Our source rather stated that many have been taken out to undisclosed locations, probably Black sites.
Some inmates were reportedly injured during the clampdown.
The reported injuries are the aftermath of a large protest organised by the detainees who were demanding for their immediate liberation, an end to the war in Anglophone Cameroon, and dialogue to address root causes of the problem. Some also complained of discriminatory practices against them (Anglophone detainees) by the prison administration. Others rather asked to be transferred to Buea or Bamenda prisons, where they can speak the language and eat the food.
In videos circulated online, the inmates were seen in large numbers calling for external support from the likes of the US, to help them.
The protesters also sang the Ambazonian anthem and carried blue and white materials signifying the Amba flag used by pro-independence fighters and activists.
Videos circulating on social media, videotaped by inmates as well as prison officials, show some structures on fire. In the background, gunshots are heard echoing amidst shouts and screams from inmates.
In videos filtering out of the prison, some Anglophone detainees are seen making demands, among which is their immediate release, call for a ceasefire in the on-going war in Anglophone regions.
“We don’t want any dialogue without a ceasefire. That is it. We don’t want any dialogue without a ceasefire. We want everyone who is fighting to come to the table and discuss. We don’t want this fighting anymore. It is killing our people”. One of the detainees said.
It is reported that some prisoners supposedly CRM militants were among the protesting Anglophone detainees.
The duo groups were arrested from Anglophone zones in line with the Anglophone crisis and francophone zones in relation to CRM protests respectively.
After the protest that turned chaotic, part of the Yaoundé prison was set ablaze, though the cause is still unknown.
In the morning of Tuesday, July 23, reports emerged that Former PM Ephraim Enoni, Former Health Minister Urbain Onangena were injured alongside others.
The prison as we learned, is now militarised as troops are drafted to take up positions at the prison in case of further escalations.
It is also reported that authorities are jittery given that the prisoners had mobile phones with which they live-streamed their protest from the prison. Measures are reportedly underway, to search and confiscate the mobile devices that were used by the inmates to draw a lot of attention to their activities.
In an outing, SDF Shadow Cabinet Minister in charge of Information and the Media, Jean Robert Wafo, reacting to the situation, condemned congestion at the prison, in what he said is a result of overtly repressive governance. He criticised the government for filling the prison with political prisoners. He also took exception to the fact that over 80percent of the detainees are still awaiting trial. He said the prison initially constructed to house 800 prisoners, now contains over 5000.