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07.03.2008

What is behind the unrest in Cameroon? 

Tension is high in Cameroon following riots last week.

Several people have been arrested as the army continues to patrol the streets.

The protests were sparked by freight transport workers complaining about high petrol price and the rising cost of living.

The demonstrators were also angry at President Paul Biya´s proposal to amend the constitution to allow him to run for another 7 year term.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Simply put, a ´ghost´ national security in the absence of human security. Over 90% of youths of ´generation 1982´- the year Paul Biya came to power- are hungry and jobless. Their docilty have been taken for granted. As president Omar Mbongo of Gabon once joked..´if i have to rule any other country, it would be Cameroon...the people are too docile´.
An alternative to Biya might not bring miracles, but Cameroonians just need a change. the president need to listen!!!
Maurice Ufon, Coventry

It is sad that Cameroon finds it self where it is today. In my humble opinion, the real problem with Cameroon lies in a pseudo democratic system that has been put in place to decieve cameroonians and the outside world. I would like to be given an example of a true democratic state where the leader has been in power for over 25 years, or a democratic state where the people are not allowed to voice their opinions freely. leadershi[p accountability is the key to a successful and peaceful state.
Des, Montreal

The situation in Cameroon is deeper than what we are seing presently. There is a lot of frustration and people are so bottled up with the mess and abuse that has been going on. Cameroon has a ´toilet paper´ consitution that the powers that be play with as they wish.
What happened in Kenya is still fresh in our minds and I hope the government knows. Cameroon is a bomb ready to detonate and if the international community can help, this is the time. A stitch in time saves nine.
Faga, Meridian

BBC. I believe the situation in Cameroon is just a little one compared to what we are experiencing here in Liberia, that is the government has no control over prices which give every one the opportunity to cell their petrol and others commodities any price that satisfied them, we are not involve in violence or demonstrations because of what we experienced for the passed 14 years, but the situation here is greater than what in Cameroon comparing prices.
william kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia

The situation in Cameroon has been sparked not only by the rising gas prices and cost of living, but by a nepotic and tribalistic culture that pervades the Cameroonian society. In as much as people are dissatisfied with Biya´s professed ambition to tinker with the constitution and so perpetrate his feudal republican monarchy, a lot of Cameroonians, especially the youth are frustrated by the inabilty of this moribund regime to guarantee their future.
Ngomba Ekali, rockville


Corruption....Corruption is the reason Cameroon is unstable.
People are frustrated with Everything Cameroonian....
They are just waiting for something...Or someone to rebel against the system. And They will all follow...It´s about time...This is the right time to rid this beautiful motherland from rogues and thieves who have looted and rapped the resources of our motherland.
Why not? After 25 years in power by Biya, Cameroonians are fleeing their home land in the millions...What a waste...
Eric, Houston, TX USA

Paul Biya needs to understand the wind of change blowing across Africa.
Mustapha Ibn Boamah, Nottignham

The problem I see with Cameroon is that the country is devoid of a national soul. As long as Cameroon dances around with that joke it calls a constitution, all we will see will be quick fixes by the corrupt Biya regime each time there is unrest. Cameroon is a country without a foundation and in my opinion is just a time bomb waiting to detonate.
Ronald, New York City

i think this kind of protests show the chaos the african continent live in, plotically
elsayed, cairo

The president of that country has thrown, Democracy, Freedom of expressions or speeches,Human Rights, Rule of Law and the people has no option. The people are depressed beyond immaginations,getting moses from no where even among the preachers op Democracy. A good number of French speaking countries in AFRICA are UNDEMOCRATIC,Therefore ,unrest. example-- CHARD,
Ibrahim Amara, Kissy Free town

My fellow African brothers and sisters, i can see the devil is in control of that country, unless we become born again then Paul Biya will continue to use his demonic powers to control that country and let the innocent once die in silence. I tell you Popo is in numerous sects and curts, he is sitting at the right hand of satan. lets us pray for that country, if not so popo will continue to suck the blood of the innocent.
mamamary, Nairobi

The Cameroonian riots are a regular event in most African countries. Nigeria has had its own fare share of such mayhems during the days of the immediate past regime and indeed previous military rulers. Paul Biya has been there long and as such is running out of ideas. After 26 years of dictatorship, do we expect anything better from such a RULER? The situation could be worse.
Blaise, Lagos

Increase in, leavingcost, insecurity, unemployment, taxes, minority marginalisation , electricity and water cuts, electorial frauds, divided opposition , gap betwen the poor and the rich,divisions on ethnic lines, and power given to men in uniform. Decrease in salaries and standards of leaving. Lack of gov´ts ability to dialogue and intervene timely in problems. Bad faith and self interested politicians,bad French gov´t influence and the lions inability to win the CAN 2008 football trophy.
aseh clive amuh, douala, Cameroon

Cameroon without Biya and a few more years for Biya will be directed towards assuring a stable and prosperous country after Biya. Biya will go some day, in my opinion I think Cameroon is using Biya not Biya using Cameroon now. We can use the Biya effect to build a country unparalleled in Africa. Put your thinking caps on; do not be deceived by what you see on the streets, we all want change but only a few people will sit down and things if change is really what we need at this particular time
Sophie Wisdom, London

The main reason behind the unrest in Cam(my country) is the rise in prices of basic commodities and petrol,a litter of petrol that use to be about 250frs is about 650frs now and more so the taxes are also too high to Cameroonians and the salaries that were slashed since the early 90s at the eve of economic crises has not been re-instated making things getting worser and worser every day.The riot will certainly end but there is long out standing grivances accumulated.The opposition is out of this
Yuh Maurice Martin, Tiko - Cameroon

Joblessness, anger, frustration, and hopelessness have been plaguing Cameroonians under this regime. In the fight for a brighter future, there is no justification for personal attacks on peoples´ property. Vandalism diminishes the strength of our fight, because it casts us as criminals who act out whenever we can. It also creates a vicious cycle of abuse by an already repressive regime, and violent response by the victims. Let us at every level become patriots. Change is inevitable.
Angela, Maryland, USA

Pick up a map of Africa; have a look at former French colonies South of Sahara and see what they have in common. They are decades behind their [English] counterpart in progressive govt. Reason is the enshackling role France still plays in their former African colonies. France backs leaders that are blindly loyal to France; being pro France is all a leader needs to be in power for decades in French speaking African nations. Our African brothers need to reexamine France´s role in their nations.
Eziokwu Bu Ndu, Nigeria

President Paul Biya is like the President of Guinea they careless about their people,prices are rocket flying every munite of the day.Since yesterday people started queing for fuel,the slept at the stations,this morning all the fuel stations are closed treating to increase prices,taxi drivers too are planning to increase transport,the price of goods are flying here and there no one cares.The poor are dying in faster rate ,this time not slowly.Salary remain the same,the money is very weak .
UMARU FOFANAH, CONAKRY

I think the right question should be... what in the world could make Cameroon stable; employment? good govt? good economy? good infrastructure?
Cameroon mirrors other African nations with clueless leaders. Paul Biya has been in power for 26 years and has lead the nation to stagnation. He wants another 7 years and another 7 years of stagnation? Cameroonians are doing the right thing... fight back. That´s the only way to force our leaders´ hands.
Ekene, Orlu, Nigeria

Why is it that nobody cares to mention the staggering achievements made by President Paul Biya? Has he not kept peace for a long time in a country with 150 ethnic groups? If Cameroon is that bad, why are some many Europeans still live there? Did President Biya not discover vast quantities of oil that people did not know was there? Did he not skillfully capture a whole region of Bakassi from Nigeria? Please give the man his due credit.
Objective Observer, Greenbelt, MD USA

The problem in Cameroum is not a case of high cost living but the president has "over-stayed his welcome". The truth is that he has run out of ideas and the people of cameroum want change. If African leaders should learn to quit when the ovation is loudest, events that unfolded in both Kenya and cameroum in the recent time will stop. President Paul Biya should drop the idea of constitutional amendment to avoid blood birth in cameroum.
Ikenna Agu, Abuja. Nigeria

The country is bad,all what happened was as a result of aggravated fustration the people have with the Biya regime,while condeming the act of violence and vandalism shown by the protestors,the government have decided to take all those arrested to court charging them of destroying state property but many pple were caught just to give a dog a bad name to hang it.The regime needs to redefined it policies.
Bareta, Buea

Cameroon that once was a citadel of peace in the world has become a subject of ridicule in the recent past by her own citizens.What do we make out of the fact that old people who are due retirement still cling to power.This makes the rich richer and the poor to die in poverty.
The streets of almost every town in Cameroon has been turn into barracks.Soldiers harrassing innocent citizens with impunity.But we will do all we can to stop evil hands of the regime in trying to amend our constitution
tangunu kenneth tamilo, yaounde

Mr. Biya is only expressing a weakness, nay evil tendency of African leaders; the sit tight syndronme. Born in 1933, Biya has been in charge since 1982. Why would he still desire to rule for another 7 years? What else has he got to offer? Is Camerron allergic to change? Why is Africa this ´blessed´ with men who believe they are God sent and must ´misrule´ people? Why must this men subject their people to so much pain? Eight years is long enough for any human to rule over others, almost too long!
Oyinkro Olobio, Port Harcourt

Our leaders especially in the rulling party are causing this nation term as one of the most stable in the continent to go into disarray.
However no doubt that fuel has been high over the world but what about basic commodities like cooking oil, rice, cement, soft drinks which are all produced in Cameroon?
Another problem that is vehemently clear in Cameroon is the opposition.We don´t have a strong opposition.Most members of the opposition are divided and some have joining the govenment.
Mefehnja Tatcheu, Cameroonian in Italy

Well,BBC every longest day must come to an end,in other words no condition is permanent.The people of Cameroon has enough of president Paul Biya,they are sending a clear signal to him which he failed to see.Amean why this proposal to amend the constitution just because of his own interest.Cameroon has been like a timing bomb for a while now,president Paul Biya has to step down if he has Cameroon at his heart.
Lamin Bojang, Stockholm, Sweden

People in Cameroon are living under a draconian, corrupt and retrogressive regime.The slightest show of disagreement is crushed with overwhelming brutality.People are hungry for change and the struggle continues both within and without.The current leadership must give way to a new dispensation else it will become very explosive.Biya´s regime has damaged enough. He should retire and stop manipulating that they want to change the constitution. Now is time to go.Enough is enough...
Edison, Helsinki

this is the way africans kill each others our presidents give order to law inforcement agents to shoot at peaceful demonstrators, our brothers and uncles in the police forces ,use live bullet to kill us
international court of war crimes , should do something please why not bring this people into justice?
mustapha-barnoma shykh, kano, Nigeria

High cost of living is a global problem not only in Cameroon. I think the problem in Cameroon had to do with “Stay in power for ever syndrome that is in Africa” and it seems that is what they discuss in AU meetings instead of how to move Africa forward. We must not fold our hands watching them.
Augustine Etunwaoke-Ekeke, Ibadan - Nigeria

Dear bbc, I am a Cameroonian resident in Vaasa-Finland,my countribution to the topic is multidimensional.But for this purpose i will talk only on the most popular and common phenomenon of endemic corruption,bribery and embezzlement of resources by the bigwigs of the regime.Today,Cameroon is experiencing instability because these issues have not been redressed and the billions stolen by friends of the regime are still to be returned.all these mean hardship and has provoked the riot.
CHRISTOPHER LANG AFAH, VAASA

The situation in my country is more than meets the eyes.what we see happening today is an effect of one problem. Cameroon is governed by a system that has lots of loopholes and as long as we stand on this system we will experience this and more.The country cannot be stable with a a failing foundation. there are visible cracks in the system. It is calm now in douala but for how long .....
it is all about a system that has expired and there is need for change.positive change of course!!
leila kigha, douala

Cameroonians are tired with a regime that can only place them in the non enviable position as the world´s most corrupt nation. The cost of living is increasing by the day and there is every reason to believe that the constitution will be changed. Since the regime is well experience in riging elections, people are tired since they need at least a change. There is total frustration especially for non employed youths who are increasing by the day.
Emmanuel, Iso, Njinikom
 

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