Protests rock Cameroon

Three were killed by security forces in Cameroon Feb. 28 as anti-government protests broke out in the western towns of Bamenda and Bafang. Up to 20 are believed dead in unrest earlier in the week in the western region and the capital, Yaoundé. The street clashes began with protests against rising fuel prices and President Paul Biya's plan to change the constitution to extend his term in office. Biya has been in office 26 years. (NYT, The Nation, Kenya, Feb. 29)

As the communications minister called on newspapers to be "responsible," the unrest has left the privately-owned press silenced. Security forces raided the studios of Magic FM radio, seizing equipment and forcing it to close. The raid came during a call-in program critical of the president. It was the third private broadcaster ordered closed by the government this week. Much of the privately-owned printed press has been prevented from appearing, and only state media are still being distributed. (Reporters Without Borders via AllAfrica; Committee to Protect Journalists via AllAfrica, Feb. 29)

See our last posts on Cameroon and Central Africa.