REVOLT AGAINST THE CFA FRANC
By Jean-René Meva’a Amougou, US Africa News. Updated 2015-05-02
Followers of radio host Duval Ebale against the currently used currency in Cameroon face riot police in the capital
On the morning of Sunday, April 26, the inhabitants of Mfandena (near the sports arena) could not explain the presence of so many police and riot gear at the esplanade of the Ahmadou Ahidjo Omnisports stadium. Estimated at more than 300 (three hundred), the cops had occupied all the spaces generally used by sport enthusiasts on the weekend. "For six hours, they were in position, no one knows why. There isn’t even an international match today," noted a driver of heavy equipment. Based on the crumbs of information gleaned from some residents, it was learned that a demonstration there against the CFA franc had been banned by the local sub-prefect. Against the orders of the administrative authority, some protesters stood firm, as commanded by Duval Ebale (known as a Pan-Africanist), over the radio program known as Voice of Christ. Recently the radio star made a brilliant publicity announcement over this radio program, on 102.9 MHz in the Cameroonian capital, denouncing "the enslavement of Cameroon by France."
On this day, some protesters showed up. Shortly before 10 am, there were almost a hundred of them--university professors, students, market women (bayam-sellams), housewives, civil servants, and the unemployed formed the bulk of those in attendance, although they were not grouped in a single location. They also brought with them their messages. At the front of their white T-shirts the Cameroonian flag flew, reading underneath: "April 26, 2015, the death of the CFA Franc-The Patriot"; at the back, "April 26, 2015, the birth of sovereign Cameroon, long live Cameroon currency--the Nationalist". For Dr. Anaba, teacher in the Faculty of Science at the University of Yaoundé I, and protesting that day, "these are words that are in keeping with the purpose of an action against the sinister CFA franc. The first task for us is to bring this debate to a Cameroonian public place, and then on a wider, regional and even continental scale.” Thus, advocacy in default of a popular mobilization. In any case, each of the protesters refused to be considered as a lone coward or troublemaker. "We cannot destroy our country," claimed Noe Eyambe, student and candidate walking day. "But he added, in the face of the exploitation of Cameroon by France, we are worked up." The time is right, they believe, to "oust the despicable symbol of the French presence and domination in Cameroon."
Facing them, the police were on alert. Uniformed men and intelligence agents had taken over the area, so that the arrests happened easily and were immediately followed by transports of the arrested to the Mfoundi central police station at Nlongkak. A total of 93 people (including eight women) were heard on record. According to a police officer stationed there, questioning revolved around seven main questions: "Were you unaware that your event was banned by Mfoundi prefect as of April 16? What is your relationship with Duval Ebale? Do you know who is behind it? Can you tell us the sales channels for your t-shirts? Which politicians do you support? Why do you demonstrate against the CFA? What is the name of the currency you would like to see circulate in Cameroon?". The series of questions, we learned, were based on protocols and consideration of a previous information bank on activists. Reportedly, some of the day’s protesters are repeat offenders and many others show up for rallies of Duval Ebale’s movement. Since 2010, police have chronicled 32 meetings organized in cells scattered throughout the country.