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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Décembre - Cameroon, Togo: Deadly repression and French complicity (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 31 Dec 2017 11:36:59 +0200


In recent months, social movements have shaken Cameroon and Togo, two countries among the friendly dictatorships of France. ---- In Cameroon, a predominantly French-speaking country, the Anglophone minority, representing about 20% of the population, has long felt marginalized by the power of dictator Paul Biya. To express their feelings of inadequacy, they first demonstrated on September 22, bringing together " between 30,000 and 80,000 people in thirty or so English cities and localities.[...]Initially peaceful, the marches became violent in some localities " [1]. The violent reaction of the defense and security forces then left at least 4 dead and dozens wounded among the protesters. ---- Independence of Ambazonia ---- The second act, more bloody, took place on 1 st October to the call Anglophone secessionist. In the face of the unexpected scale of the 22 September demonstrations, " the governor deployed a new reinforcement of 1,000 soldiers and imposed a state of emergency and a martial law de facto (arrest of civilians by the military, judgment in the military courts) " [2]. In addition, at the request of the authorities, the telephone operators (Orange and MTN) cut off access to the internet, making it extremely difficult to know from a distance what was happening: tens of thousands of people went out to walk peacefully, hoist flags and symbolically proclaim the independence of an English-speaking state called Ambazonia. The crackdown was extremely violent, claiming between 40 and 100 victims, according to sources, and more than 500 arrests according to Amnesty International.

In Togo, it is in the whole country that the people are fed up with a clannish and mafia power. Following Gnassingbé Eyadema's 38 years of rule, power was seized in 2005 by his son Faure Gnassingbé at the price of a " transition " in violence (500 dead and 40,000 refugees according to the UN). Since then, Faure has struggled to keep power under a fragile democratic veneer, which has led him to want to change the constitution to escape the limitation of the number of presidential terms (recipe already experienced by other dictators of the francafrique) .

The Togolese people mobilized to chase the tyrant

Faced with this project, the popular mobilization was at the rendezvous, with several deadlines of gatherings whose culminating point, on October 18 and 19, was in turn violently repressed: " at least 16 people killed, dozens of people wounded and arbitrarily arrested, sometimes tried without lawyers " [3], without forgetting the use of militias tracking opponents into their homes.

In these two recent cases, the diplomatic voice of France expresses " concerns " and condemns " the violence " ... Now, in Cameroon, Togo and many other countries " friends ", dozens of French police and military cooperatives accompany and train the armed forces through cooperation agreements (whose content is not currently transparent). But to stop this cooperation at the heart of the repressive arsenal of criminal regimes does not seem to cross the mind of the French government, which prefers to call all parties modestly " to dialogue and restraint ".

Christmas Surge

[1] Note from the International Crisis Group (ICG) of 19 October 2017

[2] Idem

[3] Africa banknotes, Survival association monthly, October 2017

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Cameroun-Togo-Repression-meurtriere-et-complicite-francaise
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