11th February in the restive Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon

It could be seen clearly from the pictures that circulated on social media and from testimonies that eye witnesses gave, that there was a wide difference in the the 52nd National Youth Day celebrations in the francophone and Anglophone regions of Cameroon.

Some areas in the two English speaking Regions recorded a very short march past as violence sneaked in on a day that youths usually spent the whole day out.

Early in the morning of 11th February the gendarmerie brigade in Kembong was attacked, an armoured vehicle was reportedly set ablaze and casualties were recorded following a gun battle between security forces and armed civilians.

In Bamenda, following a military raid on Friday, most youths stayed back home, some out of fear and others received instructions from their parents to stay back home because they wanted them safe.

Eye witnesses said the soldiers out-numbered the youths because the town was heavily militarized.

A viral video on twitter shows a teacher in Bamenda explaining how she was beaten by soldiers on her way to the ceremonial ground.

Meanwhile in Batibo, in Momo division, Northwest Region, the Youth day celebration ended prematurely after gunshots were heard. The whereabouts of the DO of Batibo, Marcel Namata Diteng, remains unknown after he was kidnapped yesterday morning on his way back from grandstand. His car was later found burnt. Local reports say investigations are underway.

In Bali Nyonga, in Mezam Division, North West Region the parade did not take place.

Social media activists claimed that the Cameroon army bussed school children from other regions to the restive Anglophone region for the annual Youth Day celebration.

A video shared on Twitter showed a military truck with soldiers helping school children descend. Another military pickup with armed men is closely behind the truck.

The state-run CRTV on its twitter handle shared two photos of students taking part in the march past in Buea, capital of the southwest region and another key town, Limbe.


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