The Ministry of Communication has since June 10 taken to twitter (@MincomCameroun) to contest a June 8 declaration made by Olivier Bibou Nissack, spokesperson of Maurice Kamto’s CRM. He had claimed that no fewer than 200 pro-Kamto protesters were arrested on Saturday during their National Pacific Resistance and detained in unmarked locations.
The CRM spokesman had claimed that they succeeded to push through with an anti-Biya protest last Saturday despite a government ban and a heavy security presence. They were demanding the release of their national president detained since January 2019 along with his allies, as well as many other CRM members including those arrested on June 1, 2019.
Maurice Kamto officially emerged second in the October 7, 2018 presidential election behind President Paul Biya who won with over 71% of validly cast votes. He has since claimed victory; leading to several protests against what his party says is an electoral hold up. They also demand a vote recount, as well as sweeping electoral reforms.
The Ministry of Communication says 85 persons were actually arrested on June 8, 2019 when attempts of illegal marches were signalled to security forces.
Government says that the 66 persons arrested by the police did not claim membership or sympathy to any political party, talk less of the CRM.
“…66 individuals not claiming any political party, arrested by the police: 43 released,” a tweet read in part.
Government adds that 19 individuals were also apprehended by the Gendarmerie of which 11 have been released.
The Ministry of Communication says all those nabbed on June 8 in Yaoundé and still in detention will be freed after routine checks.
The tweet: “Illegal march attempts in #Cameroon: On 6/8/19 in Yaoundé, the Police arrested 66 persons who claimed no political affiliation. 43 of them have been released. Of the 19 individuals arrested by the Gendarmerie, 11 were released. Others will be released after customary checks.”
In another tweet, the Ministry of Communication said contrary to information that there was a protest in Yaoundé on Saturday; life went on in the city as usual. Government by the same token denies allegations of torture, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment by security forces.
It reads: “Illegal march attempts in #Cameroon: On 6/8/19, Cameroonians went about their business as usual, thus defeating all antipatriotic moves. Security Forces, in keeping with their mission, carried out neither torture, arrest, nor ill treatment.”