17, November 2016
The employees of the Cameroon Society of Urban Transport (SOCATUR) paralyzed traffic for more than three hours by blocking the road to the Nlongkak district in Yaoundé on Wednesday the 16th of November. The nearly 125 people claimed they have not been paid for over 12 months. Cameroon Concord News gathered they are actually being owed 842 million CFA francs.
President Biya had reportedly given standing instructions that the workers be paid long ago. However, on November the 15th at a meeting held with the representative of the Ministry of Finance, the striking workers were told they could not be paid. According to their spokesman Hubert Mani, the strike action was to send signals to the Head of State.
The Senior Divisional Officer for Mfoundi, Jean Claude Nsila, went down to the scene in an emergency, followed by dozens of riot police officers to try to contain the strike. The SOCATUR workers were forced to sit on the ground against their will and many were forcibly taken away and molested before being shipped to an unspecified destination.
A reporter with the Cameroon Intelligence Report hinted that some of the striking workers were detained at the Kondengui high security prison. The Prefect of Mfoundi was quoted by a local newspaper as saying “You will spend some few weeks in Kondengui”. Jean Claude Tsila has convened a crisis meeting in his office to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
By Rita Akana in Yaounde