Yaounde (National Times)-At least one person is reported dead after clashes between security forces and irate bikers in Yaounde, Cameroon’s political capital went violent on Thursday May 9th.
The spark is the result of a move from bikers to recover motorcycles which municipal police elements had impounded.
According to bike riders, the municipal police elements over stepped their bounds in the process of impounding bikes. Council police resumed duty on Wednesday impounding scores of bikes. Hundreds of other bikes were impounded on Thursday around the Mokolo Market.
The riders then followed the council police to their base around the Central Post Office. A security source told The National Times that the council police hit a rider on the leg as they forced their way to where the bikes were impounded.
The riders went violent and burnt a vehicle belonging to the council police. Security officers were drafted in. Guns coughed. Eye witnesses say the number of losses could go beyond two persons.
More forces were deployed to the scene but the protesters seamed unmoved until the Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for the Mfoundi Division, Jean Claude Tsila, the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City council, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna came ordering the release of all impounded bikes.
The riders left with shouts of triumph, claiming they had won the battle and that council police would never harass them anymore.
In February this year, the Yaounde city council police were handed a temporary ban for reportedly torturing a bike rider to dead at the Manguier neighborhood. It was said that potential council police officials would sit a competitive entrance examination to usher them into training for the job.This gave the liberty for bike riders to go to prohibited parts of the town.
But on Monday May 6th, the SDO for issued a communiqué lifting the ban on the activities of municipal police.
Commercial motor bike riding has established itself lately in Cameroon as one of the sources of income for thousands of unemployed young people.