By Njodzeka Danhatu
The Cameroonian government through the Communication Minister, René Emmanuel Sadi, has again denied claims that fatalities were registered following the July 22 and 23 prison mutinies.
The Government’s Spokesperson was reiterating government’s stance during a press conference in Yaounde, Friday, August 2.
According to the MINCOM boss, the military was reinforced to halt the chaos after some aggrieved prisoners repudiated dialogue calls from prison authorities.
The inmates in kondengui and Buea Central Prison, as he stressed, were agitating against “prison conditions” among which are overcrowding of cells and long pre-trial detention.
To Minister Sadi, a group of persons awaiting trial due to the conflict in the Anglophone Regions, started the protest which was later joined by other inmates – all of them demanding for their release – proceeded to sow panic within the prison with the aim of causing a mass escape of the detainees.
“…the forces of law and order, put to use, succeeded, using only modern tools of deterrence, with mastery, tact and professionalism, to limit the extent of the damage caused by this mutiny” he said.
The damage as he averred, was estimated at “tens of millions of FCFA and reaffirmed that apart from the two detainees abused in their prison cells by insurgents, no loss of life was recorded among them” he added.
“…and there were no injuries in the rank of the forces of the order and protesting detainees at kondengui and Buea central prison” Mr Sadi clarified.
The Communication boss equally narrated that, a total of 244 inmates were arrested and detained in police and gendarmerie cells.
Meanwhile, with the recurrent challenges, he revealed that the President, Paul Biya, has ordered that the issue of overcrowding should be looked into and legal proceedings sped up.
The minister’s reactions come barely two weeks after some media organs reported that casualties were registered following the said prison riots.
However, Mr Sadi did not disclose the whereabouts of some Anglophone detainees like Mancho Bibixy whom some people alleged had been killed. MINCON befor the conference had tweeted claiming he was alive without proof.