The Head of State, Paul Biya, has sacked Pierre Ali and appointed Eric Lazard Ndoumbe to replace him as boss of the public security police district in the town of Mutengene, South West region. The presidential decree was made public on Friday March 3
Commissioner Ndoumbe, before his appointment, was chief of the intelligence service at the South West regional delegation for national security.
Though the presidential decree did not contain the reasons for Ali’s dismissal, many analysts are of the opinion that the decision is related to an incident of February 22 which led to the death of a young carpenter in Mutengene. Observers say sanctions would be in order if police officers suspected of abuses in the locality are tried according to the law.
It should be recalled that police officers on patrol met a group of boys playing draughts at a small business avenue in Mutengene on the night of February 22. They are said to have surrounded the boys; provoking a brief argument after which the youngsters succeeded to slip out of the circle of officers.
Eyewitness told Journal du Cameroun in February that one of the police officers caught up with one of the fleeing boys who turned around and demanded the reason they are being hunted down.
“An argument ensued, leading to death of the youngster who was shot at point-blank range. A woman who suffering from mental derangement is the one who shouted out to the other boys that one of their friends had been shot,” our source said.
We gathered the officer and all others who were hunting down the boys became the hunted as they fled in diverse directions. The irate youths carried the corpse of the youngster from the Quarter 2 neighbourhood to the police station. All the police officers at the station equally vamoosed at the site of the corpse-carrying youths.
The youths wreaked havoc on the police station. They set some cars ablaze and later went on to set fire on the francophone section of GBHS Mutengene. Sources say the irate youth linked the police’s actions to the ongoing protests in the North West and South West regions- which protests have paralysed schools and courts in the regions for more than three months.
More officers are said to have been deployed to the locality to disperse the striking youths. Contacted at the time to comment on the incident, the commander of the Mutengene police academy refused to comment. Prierre Nith, from whose academy reinforcement officers are said to have been deployed that night, told Journal du Cameroun only the boss of the South West regional delegation for national security could comment on the incident.