By Paul Njie & Kesah Princely
The Cameroonian government and renowned Anglophone newspaper, The Post, have released conflicting figures as to the number of detainees who were allegedly killed in Tuesday’s prison mutiny.
In a recent communique on the prisoners’ protest at the Buea Central Prison, the Minister of Communication and Government’s Spokesperson, René Emmanuel Sadi said despite severe injuries sustained by prisoners who were manhandled by security officers, no life was lost.
He stated that two security officers and 43 detainees were injured, after what appeared to be a fierce confrontation.
However, The Post newspaper in its Friday July 26 edition, alleged that about 56 detainees were killed by government forces, while breaking the demonstration on Tuesday July 23. TWIF NEWS cannot independently confirm this.
A source talking to The Post from the Buea Central Prison is reported by the newspaper as saying that the prisoners started agitating for not being charged after spending several years in prison.
The source added that when the riots escalated, the gendarme, army and B.I.R were sent in to neutralise the detainees.
“Some of the chained prisoners broke their chains and the military opened fire on them. They killed about 56 prisoners,” The Post reported.
The paper further detailed that according to their source, the military was firing at random, which left many people dead.
The prison was later put on fire when the military flooded the prison with teargas, says The Post.
It remains unclear which version of the story is true, but Cameroonians are now left with a choice on whom to believe — government or The Post newspaper.
The government has sometimes been accused of misrepresenting facts in times of critical occurrences in the country, to save its image. When a video emerged in 2018 of regular state soldiers killing innocent women and children in the Northern part of the country, the government quickly denied that its soldiers were responsible; moths later, it acknowledged the military’s culpability and arrested some accused officers.
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