Cameroon Demolishes 3,000 Houses and Render 15,000 Homeless

Blogger Mathias Mouendé Ngamo gives an eye-witness account [fr] of the demolition of about 3,000 houses in the Nkomba neighborhood in the city of Douala in Cameroon. It is estimated that over 15,000 squatters live in this squatter camp established on land owned by the Industrial Zones Development and Management Mission, a public corporation responsible for creating industrial zones in Cameroon:

Des policiers et gendarmes empêchent aux habitants de franchir le cordon de sécurité. Plus de 150 éléments des forces du maintien de l’ordre encadrent l’opération des casses. Ils sont constitués des policiers de l’Equipe spéciale d’intervention rapide (Esir), du Groupement mobile d’intervention n°2 (Gmi2), des gendarmes et des forces spéciales de la Misca. Les hommes en tenues sont armés de fusils, de matraques et de bombes à gaz lacrymogène. Des camions antiémeutes de la police et de la gendarmerie sont garés dans un coin. Une bombe à gaz lacrymogène est lancée pour repousser les sinistrés qui défient les forces de l’ordre. La foule se disperse…

C’est la troisième journée des casses au quartier Nkomba. Les déguerpissements ont débuté mercredi 26 mars 2014, vers 5 h. Les maisons ciblées sont celles établies sur le terrain de la Mission d’aménagement et de gestion des zones industrielles (Magzi).

Police officers and gendarmes are preventing inhabitants from breaking through the security cordon. Over 150 forces of law and order are overseeing the demolition exercise. They are made up of police officers from the special rapid intervention unit (ESIR) and the Mobile Intervention Unit No. 2 (GMI2), gendarmes, and special forces who are part of the International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). The men in uniform are armed with guns, truncheons and tear gas. Anti-riot trucks belonging to the police and gendarmerie are parked in the corner. A tear gas canister is fired to push back the evicted squatters who are defying the police. The crowd then disperses.

This is the third day of demolitions in Nkomba. Evictions began on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 around 5:00 am. The targeted houses are constructed on land belonging to the Industrial Zones Development and Management Mission (MAGZI).

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