Cameroon Military, Police Urge Citizens to Fill the Streets on September 22 to Seek Regime Change
Social media is awash with unmasked and masked videos and audios from some military and Police officers calling on Cameroonians to fill the streets Tuesday, September 22 in demonstrations called by the country’s main opposition leader, Prof. Maurice Kamto. The unmasked video of a second-grade military officer by name Etame Augustine Assong, born on November 26, 1992, in Nsanki, spoke to the consciences of his colleagues nationwide to accompany the demonstrators without inflicting any form of harm on them.
In a claim which has not been independently verified, though putting forth his public service code N0. 778651 and his batch number M13/17157 Etame Augustine Assong says he is currently serving at the Koutaba military base, a locality 56 minutes’ drive from Bafoussam in the West region.
He says, “.... the real enemies are not those going on the streets but those who are in position of power. Those who embezzle money meant for the purchase of adequate military ammunition thereby sending many soldiers to their early graves in the battlefield are the real enemies. The enemies are those who collect your allowances of 33000 CFA F (about USD80) and pay you only 3000 CFA F (about USD6). Your enemies are those who chase you out of the camp to go look for accommodation in town upon graduation from training institutions with no money in your pockets. Your enemies are those who send you on mission for three months and forget about you for two years and you dare not ask to be paid your mission allowance which must already have been collected and embezzled”.
Etame Augustine Assong and a military colleague while he served
To him, it is about time to stand with forces working to chase away those in power and this can only be done with the support of the military and forces of law and order. He urged his colleagues in uniforms to reject any form of manipulation by politicians to protect their interests rather than the interest of the state. Though the ministry of defence is yet to make a statement on this outburst by a soldier, some media outfits online have taken on Mr. Etame, saying he long deserted the military for thievery and violence and is hiding in Europe, claiming there was an international warrant of arrest issued against him.
In another media outing, a man who identifies himself as a Police Officer from the East Region and presently serving in Douala, inspired by the assertion of the military officer called on the population to come out in their numbers and fill the streets, insinuating that the forces of law and order won't do anything to anyone because they too are tired of the current system in place. He says most police officers were fed-up with the Paul Biya-led government and were in support of the September 22 peaceful demonstration meant to chase away “Mr. Biya and his gang”.
He observed that in the Police corps, all those in positions of responsibility were from the president’s ethnic group, creating frustrations to the rest. “We know you are suffering, and we are equally suffering too,” he said.
Despite threats, bullying and coercion with money and gifts to dissuade people from adhering to Prof. Kamto's call for nationwide demonstrations Tuesday, September 22, mobilization towards the event is ongoing unabated. The Chairman of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) party has remained unmoved, rather, he has been joined by other political actors.
Another opposition leader, Edith Kah Walla of Standup for Cameroon, and some members of the Cameroon Peoples’ Party (PPP)were arrested and others placed under house arrest at their Yaounde party headquarter. Sources say the party supporters were having a discussion in preparation for the September 22 street protests when the Police, about 30 in number were ushered into the premises by the district head on Friday, September 18.
In the meantime, in the diaspora, members and sympathizers of Prof. Kamto’s party Saturday, September 19, kickstarted the protests to force out Cameroon's ageing President, Mr. Biya. Reports indicate Cameroonians in Milan, New York, Washington DC, Paris, London, and Berlin taking to major streets with banners bearing messages such as "Paul Biya Must Go". The protesters equally displayed images of the infamous Ngarbuh massacre (February 14, 2020) amongst other images captured from the ongoing genocide in the Once Independent State of Southern Cameroons.