Cameroon police open fire on youths blocking ruling party's meeting, 4 dead (VIDEO)

One of the victims. Photo credit: Comfort Mussa (Twitter)

Bamenda - Four people were reportedly killed in clashes between police and protesters from Cameroon's English-speaking minority in the country's northwest on Thursday, opposition reported.

A group of youths were trying to block a meeting for the ruling People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) of President Paul Biya in the city of Bamenda before police shot at them, opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) spokesman Denis Nkemlemo said.

State television put the death toll at two.

"At least two people are reported dead and several others injured," CRTV said in its English language evening news.

CRTV showed images of a barricade of burning tyres in the centre of Bamenda, the capital of the northwest region.

"There are at least four dead. We know their names. They were all shot dead," said Nkemlemo.

"A police station was torched (by protesters). Police officers were arresting people in the town, including injured people. Atrocities were committed against the people," he added.

A photo of a bloodied and lifeless body was doing the rounds on social media following the violent clashes, although there was no way of telling where or when it was taken.

It is the second time in just over two weeks that clashes between police and protesters have broken out.

SDF deputy head Joshua Osih claimed in late November that three people were killed in clashes following a strike called by local teachers.

The northwest region and the southwest are the two mainly English-speaking areas out of 10 that make up the mostly French-speaking Cameroon.

The anglophone minority, comprising around 20 percent of the country's 22.5 million population, has long complained of discrimination.

Teachers, magistrates and lawyers have led protests denouncing "marginalisation" and an unfair distribution of wealth.

Some have been calling for independence while others favour a return to a federal system within Cameroon.

But on Tuesday, anglophone Prime Minister Philemon Yang rejected a return to federalism, a system operated from 1961, a year after Cameroon's independence from France, to 1972, when the country's first president Ahmadou Ahidjo proclaimed a united republic.

Cameroon was first colonised by Germany but French and British troops forced the Germans to leave in 1916 after World War I.

The country was then carved up into French and British administrative zones.

The French Cameroons gained independence in 1960 and a year later were joined by the British Cameroons to form a federal republic.


AFP contributed to this report

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  2. Enough of sit-tightism in Cameroon. Paul Biya cannot rule forever except if Cameroon is his personal estate. English speaking Cameroonians keep migrating to Nigeria in their hundreds of thousand because of the marginalisation they suffer from the Francophone ruler, Paul Biya. If Cameroon is indeed a democratic country, Paul Biya must step down.

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