Cameroon senator killed in restive anglophone region

AFP | An opposition senator was shot dead in western Cameroon where a bloody insurgency has been waged by anglophone separatists against the state, his party and an official said.

Henry Kemende
Henry Kemende

Lawmaker Henry Kemende, whose body was found Wednesday, “was killed (overnight) by unidentified armed assailants”, a local communications ministry official confirmed on condition of anonymity.

He had been a lawyer and lawmaker for the Social Democratic Front (SDF), one of Cameroon’s main opposition parties.

The killing happened in Bamenda, a major town in the country’s northwest region which, along with the southwest, has seen a spate of insurgent violence by members of the regions’ anglophone minority against the predominantly French-speaking security forces.

“We recovered his body, his chest riddled with bullets,” Joshua Osih, the vice president of the SDF, confirmed to AFP.

The vehicle in which the victim was travelling at the time of the attack had “disappeared”, he added.

A senate official who requested anonymity confirmed the information to AFP.

No one had come forward to claim the killing as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We assume it’s the ‘Ambazonians’,” Osih suggested, referring to the armed anglophone insurgent groups.

Cameroon has been torn by violence since October 2017, when militants declared an independent state in the northwest and southwest, home to most of the anglophone minority in the majority French-speaking country.

Both the separatists and government forces have been accused of atrocities in the fighting, which has killed more than 3,000 people and forced over 700,000 to flee their homes.

Armed groups are regularly accused of abducting, killing or injuring civilians whom they accuse of “collaborating” with Cameroonian authorities.

Several SDF leaders have been targeted previously including John Fru Ndi, the party’s president.

Fru Ndi has run several times against President Paul Biya, 88, who has ruled the country with an iron grip for nearly 40 years.

Osih said separatist elements opposed the SDF because it is a predominantly English-speaking party that participates in the political process and is opposed to the partition of Cameroon.

It is the third largest party in the national assembly, the lower house which, like the senate, is dominated by Biya’s RDPC party.

NGOs and the UN accuse Biya of repressing dissent in the English-speaking areas as well as clamping down hard on political opponents.

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  1. The Biya terrorist army killed him because he was the last Wirba at the senate. Eye witness account and those who helped him to the hospital have testified his last words. They refused the money he offered them because they had to fulfill a higher dark world order. He was the only one in that kangaroo upper house speaking truth to power. Go well Honorable. May the ancestors receive you well.

    • nonsense. we are reaping what we sow. giving arms to banga smokers call amba. now they are killing and kidnapping our own. we are even ashame to accept the facts. dont worry the boyses are waiting for you. that day we will say it is the military.

      • Your mami yi big Pima @nelson. LRC terrorist bastard chief. With your wowo face like that of a Chief kidnapper Col Bamkui. Your sh$t no wipe pass devil. We don’t kill for fun. We don’t kill weak people. We go after LRC terrorist and smoke them in their armour cars with IEDs like we fried 3 colonels in Mbengwi Road.

  2. @nelson Can u tell me the people that killed monseigneur Balla? Was it Amba that killed Monseigneur Balla and drowned him in river sanaga.This killing is the handwork of the regime.

  3. @nelson I remember,this man even bought tables and chairs and give to the Bamenda Court of first instance becos he complained that it is so shameful that the court does not have chairs.Laurent Esso the minister of justice rejected the chairs and this man had to give the chairs to one cultural group there in Bamenda if my memory serves me well.

  4. This senator was killed by LRC terrorist forces. The trend with Ambazonia fighters is to arrest politicians, interrogate and release them. So many of such politicians were arrested in the likes of Fru Ndi, late Cardinal Tumi, and several traditional chiefs, but were all released. While on the contrary, LRC has the tendency of killing people without justifying how assassination can be a policy of a state. It is an open secret that LRC killed the senator since he was a vocal critic in the senate.

  5. Lawyer / law maker. Hmmmm, where are they? – lawyers and state to probe his murder?
    Wasn`t his member of the bar council?

  6. -Qui a tué froidement et décapité Sam soya ?
    -Qui a massacré des familles entières à Ngarbuh ?
    -Qui a massacré les enfants à KUMBA ?
    -Qui a massacré les enfants à Bamenda ?
    -Qui a massacré les enfants à Mautu ?

    Fruitless sabotage attemps against the AMBAZONIAN REVOLUTION
    Les forces de défense et de sécurité du Cameroun FRANCOPHONE ont incendié des villages, des maisons et des magasins en AMBAZONIE.

    Pour se faire passer pour des Ambazoniens, Ils s’habillent en clochards dans les rues et cachent des armes. Ils infiltrent pour écouter ce qui se dit. Ils se font passer pur les Ambazoniens et massacrent des civils pour chercher à discréditer une cause noble.

    LA RIPOUBLIQUE thief our ressources, buy weapons with the money then come and kill us with the weapons from the money of our ressources

  7. Un veritale système d’une liquidation comme des Nazis.

    La CAN dans cette République maudite aux mains des criminels est une HONTE pour les Africains.Biya Paul est un CRIMINEL qui fait honte à l’Afrique.

    Vous brulez les villages anglophones.
    Vous dansez sur nos morts.
    Vous massacrez des missionaires qui ne vous soutiennent pas.
    Vous ASSASSINEZ LES ANGLOPHONES qui se battent pour une cause noble et juste.

    Freedom is our motivation.