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Cameroon: The Will for Change, Interview with Kah Walla (Audio)

This page is part of our special coverage Cameroon Elections 2011.

Since the beginning of February it was rumoured on the internet that Cameroon would launch it's own Egypt-inspired protests on February 23, 2011. Once the Egyptian president fell, the call for demonstrations spread even more rapidly.

Among those who relayed and responded to the call, was Ms. Kah Walla, a candidate in the upcoming presidential election in Cameroon in October 2011. She is the founder of Cameroon Ô Bosso (Cameroon Let's Go), a civil society organisation that supports free and fair elections in the country.

Cameroon's President Paul Biya, has been in power for 28 years and is running for re-election later this year. His Special Intervention Brigade crushed the protest with force.

Kah Walla was among the protesters in the capital city Douala who were beaten on February 23.

Around 300 protesters showed up initially, but most fled when police began arresting people before they even got started. In the end they were less than 50 people.

At the end of this video of a protester's beating uploaded to YouTube by le cameroun libre, she can be seen facing a water cannon with her arms raised high.

The sequence of events that led to this confrontation is shown in this video uploaded by Cameroon Ô Bosso on YouTube. Protesters wore red shirts, and formed human chains at a busy intersection blocking traffic.

An email Kah Walla wrote about the events of the day was posted by Mougoué Mathias, a Cameroonian living in Milan, on a Facebook group called THE LARGEST CAMEROONIAN GROUP ON FACEBOOK!!

She writes:

Finally a big boss in civilian clothes shows up. He wants to “teach me a lesson” as he said. He asks that I be put on the median in the middle of the street. Then he turned the entire water cannon truck on for my personal benefit. Note my two fists up in a victory symbol under the water cannon. That’s the lesson I learnt. The power is within us. No amount of violence and hysteria can remove it.

The icing on the cake is that as we choked and burned from the chemicals on the water, they then asked us to climb onto their truck. As we climbed up, with our backs turned, they hit us with their clubs. The only feeling I had was sadness that those whom you and I’s taxes pay to protect us show such extreme cowardice and meanness. After climbing onto the truck they let us catch our breaths then set us free. What was the point of climbing onto the truck? Just so they could beat our backs? Sad.

Military was deployed in different parts of Douala. Photos appeared on Mboa Blog [fr] a Cameroonian web portal.

Kah Walla

Kah Walla

Interview with Kah Walla

In the following interview, Kah Walla shares her thoughts on the political and social situation in Cameroon, and the possibility for an “Egypt Like” revolution. She says the protests that began on February 23 are the beginning of a political process which is headed in the right direction:

Although she thinks that Cameroonians have entered a new “process” the female politician doesn't think that the time for an “Egypt Like” revolution has come. Her movement mainly wanted to show through this action that people should and can demonstrate in spite of “huge repressive force”:

Africanews website also reports that other political figures were arrested, like Member of Parliament Jean Michel Nintcheu, Deputy of Douala.

Kah Walla further explains that she and her organisation are not calling for Paul Biya, President of Cameroon since 1982, to step down; but that they wish to foster a “systemic change” in the country:

According to the presidential candidate, in spite of the violence endured, in spite of arrests, many Cameroonians are more determined than ever to put an end to this system:

This page is part of our special coverage Cameroon Elections 2011.

8 comments

  • Rev. Georges Tegha M.Div. Spiritual Warrior for Africa

    A TIME FOR MOURNING FOR OUR BELOVED ONES IN PAIN AFTER THE CAMEROONIAN POLICE BRUTALITY DURING A PEACEFUL MARCH Feb. 23rd 2011. (Ecclesiastic)

    DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON THE FRONT LINE IN CAMEROON-AFRICA:

    February 23rd 2011 has been one of the longest days for me! The only thing that came to my mouth was the song I dedicated for our Mother of Cameroon, Kal Wallah:

    Bridge over Troubled Water

    When you’re weary
    Feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes
    I will dry them all

    I’m on your side
    When times get rough
    And friends just can’t be found
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    When you’re down and out
    When you’re on the street
    When evening falls so hard
    I will comfort you

    I’ll take your part
    When darkness comes
    And pain is all around
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    Sail on Silver Girl,
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way

    See how they shine
    If you need a friend
    I’m sailing right behind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind
    Please, join us in prayer of St. Jude that is meant for this time while the victory is unfolding:
    St. Jude Prayer
    A Prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus
    Most Holy Apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor who delivered your beloved Master into the hands of his enemies has caused you to be forgotten by many. But the Church honors you, and I invoke you as the special advocate of those who are in trouble and almost without hope. Help me to realize that through our faith we triumph over lifes difficulties by the power of Jesus who gave his life for us. Come to my assistance that I may receive the consolation and succor of heaven in all my needs, trials, and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever.
    St. Jude, apostle of the Word of God, pray for us.

    St. Jude, follower of the Son of God, pray for us.

    St. Jude, preacher of the love of God, pray for us.

    St. Jude, intercessor before God, pray for us.

    St. Jude, friend of all in need, pray for us.

    St. Jude, pray for us, and all who invoke your aid.

    Thank You Saint Jude for answering my prayers.

    Thank you Mother Kal Wallah and co. for your true love and endurance!!!

    Your sacrifices will never be forgotten! Amen/AJU!

    Tegha Sr. M.Div.: Spritual Warrior for Africa

  • Rev. Georges Tegha M.Div. Spiritual Warrior for Africa

    The process in Real Change is spiritual and physical! It is a work-in-progress and victory is nearing us!

    “Biya Must Go!” is the plain truth and no one under the sun can deny this truth!!! Biya and his click must go! The whole corrupt system must vanished and Total change must be instituted! A transitional Government, with a New Constitution is the only solution! There is no other choice because the system is total failure! What a shame of the system!

    I can’t just continue writing because tears have blinded my eyes!!!

    All what I can say to our Mother of Cameroon-Africa: Mrs Kah Wallah is: you are an embodiment of our our ancestors of Africa: Rosa Park, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of America and Gandhi of India. Please, to stay-put and be strong because you have already gotten the victory already forever!!!

    Amen/Aju!!!

    Cameroon, Oyeah!!! (3time)
    Africa, Oyeah!!! (3times)
    Tegha Sr. M.Div.: Spiritual Warrior for Africa.

  • […] I found only this: Cameroon: The will for change […]

  • […] This unrest also affected Cameroon, though to a lesser extent than its African counterparts, on February 23, 2011. It's the opinion shared by […]

  • […] This unrest also affected Cameroon, though to a lesser extent than its African counterparts, on February 23, 2011. It's the opinion shared by […]

  • […] Written by Julie Owono From GlobalVoices.org http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/03/02/cameroon-the-will-for-change-interview-with-kah-walla-audio… […]

  • […] This crackdown has, according to a post [fr] on camer.be, installed a fragile truce and a climate of fear in the country. An attempted protest was swiftly prevented in February 2011. […]

  • […] This crackdown has, according to a post [fr] on camer.be, installed a fragile truce and a climate of fear in the country. An attempted protest was swiftly prevented in February 2011. […]

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