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Cameroon poised to limit protests among soldiers

Cameroonian soldiers in a street protest, in 2015

The government of Cameroon says it is bend on taking all measures aimed at stemming the tides of the growing phenomenon wherein soldiers storm the streets to protest unpaid dues.

Soldiers and other military personnel found guilty of acts of insubordination, including protest marches will henceforth receive heavy jail terms at the Military Tribunal. This is one of the main provisions of bill No. 1010/PJL/AN to lay down the code of military justice. Government tabled the draft law for scrutiny at the National Assembly in Yaounde on June 19, The Post Newspaper reports.

On June 3, some 30 soldiers of the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Lake Chad Basin demonstrated in Zigue in the Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region. The soldiers, who complained about unpaid allowances, stirred panic in the area. They were later arrested and transferred to Yaounde for disciplinary sanctions.

On September 9, 2015, more than 200 Cameroonian soldiers of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Force for the Stabilisation of the Central Africa Republic ignited fear in the streets of Yaounde when they protested against the non-payment of over eight months of arrears of their allowances.

To bring calm within the ranks, President Biya quickly ordered that the allowances be paid immediately, which the authorities did and the matter was laid to rest.

Last Monday’s bill according to the report, which is now being scrutinized by the National Defence and Security Commission of the National Assembly is seen as the authority’s way of deterring any acts of protests within the military.

Published on 28.04.2020

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