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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Protesters march in front of the Cameroon President’s hotel in Geneva

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Dozens of protesters marched in Geneva on Saturday against President Cameron, who is staying at a luxury hotel in the city.

Swiss police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered for several hours near the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, the residence of Cameroon’s 88-year-old President Paul Bia, according to AFP. The water was pressurized and plastic bullets were fired.

The Cameroonian president has been staying at the hotel since at least last Sunday. This hotel is often used by foreign leaders traveling to Geneva. US President Joe Biden also stayed at the same hotel last month before meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Paul Bia is one of the private guests of this hotel.

Since 2017, the bitter struggle for independence has been waged by English-speaking insurgents in northwestern and southwestern Cameroon.

Members of this English-speaking minority in Cameroon’s western provinces have long been marginalized by the French-speaking majority and Paul Bia, who has been in power for 38 years.

Since 2017, their protests have turned into a bloody conflict.

Saturday’s protest march in Geneva was initially licensed but later banned because police feared the protest would spread.

Road restrictions were imposed around the Intercontinental Hotel and the adjacent square near the UN headquarters in Geneva.

The protesters were confronted by a line of riot police officers blocking the road from the square to the Intercontinental Hotel.

Protesters held placards reading “Switzerland supports Paul Bia dictator”, “Paul Bia: eternal dictator”, “As long as the English-speaking minority in Cameroon is at war, we will not accept you in Switzerland” and ” “Paul, leave Switzerland.”

One of the protesters was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Stop the genocide of the people of Cameroon.”

The protesters attempted to force the police queue several times and throwing egg police officers.

The police then disperse the protesters resort to the use of high pressure water, firing plastic bullets and gas and forced the protesters to disperse the parks around the parks.

According to the ETIs news agency, two protesters suffered superficial injuries and were taken to hospital for examination, while one was detained.

International and UN relief groups in Cameroon say that since the unrest erupted in 2017, army and insurgent forces have committed atrocities and crimes against civilians.

More than 350 people have been killed and more than 700,000 displaced to escape the conflict.

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