The Government of Cameroon through the Minister of Territorial Administration has condemned the recent cases of civilian assault on police officers on duty and promised to henceforth sanction any of such "excesses" by the former according to the law.
Publicly attacking a police officer or any other security officer on duty in Cameroon will henceforth be considered as a casus belli (an event or action that justifies or allegedly justifies a war or conflict) and therefore sanctioned accordingly “If any individual is caught assaulting a police officer…, there is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout.”
This is the essential message of a statement issued by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji this Friday September 10 on the recent cases of physical attacks police officers have suffered in the hands of angry civilians who decry excesses from the law enforcement officials in some of our big cities, including Yaounde and Douala.
In the statement, Minister Paul Atanag Nji says that for quite some time now, the public in general and administrative authorities in particular have been decrying violence against police officers on duty all over the national territory.
“This irresponsible behaviour towards the police is unacceptable.” The statement partly reads. “It should be underscored that the police is at the service of the population, and more specifically at the service of each and every one.” It further reads.
Minister Paul Atanga Nji reminds that the Cameroonian police is a well-structured and well-organized corps and as such, in an event of any disagreement over whatsoever issue between a police officer and an individual, the latter should address his or herself to the police hierarchy and not resort to violence as has been the case recently.
He further reiterates that insulting or assaulting a police officer on duty or refusing to obey instructions is inacceptable. “I will like to reiterate once and for all that the police uniform belongs to the State and not the individual wearing it. Therefore, it has to be given due respect by all and sundry…Disrespectful and derogatory behaviours towards security officers shall be sanctioned accordingly, as provided by the law.
As far as these sanctions are concerned, the statement states some sections of the Cameroonian law punishing assault on public servant, including Section 156 (2) which states that where the force is premeditated or where it results, intentionally or otherwise, in harm within the meaning of Sections 277 or 280 of the code, the punishment shall be imprisonment to from five (05) to ten (10) years and fine of from CFAF 20 000 (twenty thousand) to CFAF 500 000 (five hundred thousand) and (4) Where the force or interference results unintentionally to death, the punishment shall be death.