The military police officer was lynched by a crowd on Thursday after he shot and killed a five-year-old child at a checkpoint in the capital of Cameroon’s English-speaking South West Region.
Protests in Buea erupted when the child died, and her corpse was carried by protesters to the regional governor’s office. The town was also rocked by random bursts of gunfire, but it was unclear who was opening fire.
In two English-speaking areas, secessionist rebels have been fighting government forces for almost five years in an effort to establish Ambazonia, a breakaway state from Cameroon’s French-speaking majority.
Both sides have been accused of crimes, with the death toll rising to almost 3,000 and over one million people forced to flee their homes.
Initially refusing to stop at a gendarmerie checkpoint, the motorist then attempted to elude the police who had managed to bring him to a halt, the ministry said in an official statement.
“One of the gendarmes… fired warning bullets to immobilize the car in an improper response, unsuitable to the circumstances and obviously disproportionate to the disrespectful behavior of the driver,” the statement stated.
“Caro Louise Ndialle, a little student of approximately five years old, was shot in the head in the course of the procedure.”
There is now an inquiry into both murders, according to the government. The gendarme was attacked and murdered by a mob.
In Buea, hundreds of people marched through the streets, some carrying branches as a symbol of peace. In other words, they claimed the girl’s parents refused to pay before the gendarme opened fire using 500 franc CFA currency notes worth $0.88%.
According to others, this was just one of many instances when highly armed security personnel harassed locals.
“They only frighten others. It’s an issue if you have an ID card. A issue arises if you do not have an identification card “a demonstrator, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, stated.
To appease the angry demonstrators outside his office, the regional governor made a pledge to act quickly.
“How can a kid murdered while walking to school be justified?” Gov. Bernard Okala Bilai said as much. “You can be confident that whomever committed this crime will be made to pay for it. It’s a crime against humanity.”