Activists in the UK Force Cameroon High Commission to observe ‘Ghost Towns’

The Cameroon High Commission has announced it is shutting down for three days, beginning with Monday 28 January 2019 to Wednesday 30 January 2019 inclusive. This forceful observation of what is known in Cameroon as ‘Ghost towns’, – a mandatory situation where businesses and government institutions shut down as a non-violent response to the degenerating crisis in the North West and South West Regions.

In a communique signed by the High Commissioner and posted on the doors of the High Commission, they acknowledge that their closure is in response to “acts of aggression and malicious damage to property”. This aptly describes what the Regime has been doing in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon over the last two years, and recently in other parts of the country. It is therefore a great think that the High Commision of Cameroon in London has shut down its building to show solidarity.

It is however, to be noted that the said building situated in the prestigious Holland Park Road in London, but there is nothing prestigious about it. The Cameroon High Commission in London happens to be not only the dirtiest and most dilapidated building on the street, it is one that houses people who support criminals of all sorts – rapists, murderers, arsonists etc.

As activists from CODE, Brigade Anti-Sardinard, West Cameroon Movement for Change and the Southern Cameroons Community UK gathered on Saturday 26 January, 2019, there to protest in answer to the call for a worldwide demonstration by President-Elect of Cameroon, Professor Maurice Kamto, they were certain that a message had to be passed on to the High Commission.

Tempers were already frayed by the news arriving that protesters had been shot in Cameroon. A week ago, Combattant Emmanuel Kemta had told the Biya Regime that there will be a reaction from activists across the world, should they attack protesters in Cameroon.

It, therefore, came as no surprise that after rousing speeches from many of the person’s present, including from a 9-year-old girl, the protesters unanimously agreed that it was necessary to leave a message for the Biya Regime Via its High Commission.


On cue, protesters began plastering the walls of the High Commission with eggs, tomatoes and other substances such as ketchup. The Met Police who have made it a duty to constantly protect the building while protests are going on there, looked helplessly as the building was given a ‘face-lift’. A call for back-up saw the arrival of many other officers dressed in black. The new arrivals were unable to stop the havoc until the anger of the protesters subsided.

The message to the Biya Regime was simple – keep on attacking the people, and you might have to clean not only the outside of your embassies but also the inside. A sneak-peak of what lies in ahead was provided by the Brigade Anti-Sardinard of France, who took over the Embassy in Paris and burnt the effigy of Dictator Paul Biya. Similar messages were passed in Germany and Belgium where the embassies were also taken over, effigies of the dictator Biya taken down and in one case, urinated upon.

Cameroonians in the UK made it clear that the ‘gentle stride of a tiger is not a symbol of cowardice’ and that the Biya regime should either leave power peacefully or expect to be forced out.

Talking to Brice Nintcheu, the leader of BAS, UK, he confirmed that the general idea was to force the High Commission to shut its doors. He, however, expressed pleasant surprise at the wording of the High Commissioner, which aptly describes the actions of the Regime in Cameroon. It is therefore fair to conclude that the High Commission closed its doors, not only because activists threw eggs at its dirty building, but also in solidarity with all those in Cameroon who are suffering from ‘acts of aggression and malicious damage to property’ at the hands of the Biya Regime.

Cameroon High Commission London, Observe Ghost Town as Consortium Leaders go to Court in Yaounde

London Thursday 23rd March, 2017. 

It was meant to be a whole working day for the Cameroon High Commission, which according to its website, is open from 0930-1730 on Mondays to Fridays with the exception of UK and Cameroon Bank Holidays.

As it turned out, Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, was neither a bank holiday in the UK or Cameroon. Rather it was the day Anglophones, both in Cameroon and in the diaspora had agreed to hold a special ‘Ghost Town” in defiance of the decision of the Biya government to continue with the trial of civil society leaders and activists in a military court. Barrister Agbor Balla, Dr. Fontem Neba, Mancho Bibixy, Hon. Chief Justice Ayah Paul Abine, and many other activists were abducted from the English-Speaking regions of Cameroon without adherence to any due process and taken to Yaounde the capital of Cameroon, where they have been remanded in a maximum security prison for over 2 months. Reports from Yaounde state that the case was again adjourned.

Barrister Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy Show the World and West Cameroonians that their Spirit cannot be crushed by the Biya Regime's brutality
Barrister Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy Show the World and West Cameroonians that their Spirit cannot be crushed by the Biya Regime’s brutality

Activists of West Cameroon Movement for Change and other sympathisers from sister groups in the UK had decided to go to the High Commission of Cameroon as a way of showing solidarity with those arrested and also as a way of observing the ghost towns.

By the time protesters arrived at 1400, they were surprised to find only some members of the  Metropolitan Police outside the High Commission together with some members of the public who turned up for a 1500 appointment to find the doors already closed for the day.

Activists of West Cameroon Movement for Change and other sympathisers from sister groups in the UK had decided to go to the High Commission of Cameroon as a way of showing solidarity with those arrested and also as a way of observing the ghost towns.

By the time protesters arrived at 1400, they were surprised to find only some members of the  Metropolitan Police outside the High Commission together with some members of the public who turned up for a 1500 appointment to find the doors already closed for the day

Sone eye-witnesses who had been there earlier reported that the High Commission had closed its doors at 1400, explaining to people coming for the collection of documents, visas, and passports that this was in response to the planned demonstration there later that afternoon.

The Community Campaigns Officer for WCMC Mr. Collins K. expressed appreciation to the Cameroon High Commission for doing the honourable thing and observing the ghost town as requested. He, therefore, went on to call on those present to end the demonstration at 2200, instead of all-night given that the High Commission’s decision to close early had made it a much successful day than anticipated.

It should be recalled that protesters of WCMC had on a previous occasion spent an entire night outside the High Commission, thereby preventing the acting High Commissioner from going home.

The Chairman of WCMC, Mr. Mykel Takie, in a statement, thanked all the members who made it to the protest. He also extended his gratitude to those who could not, due to other commitments, but sent in their moral support. He further explained that this struggle was not for the faint hearted, and called on all members to know it was a ‘Marathon and not a 100-meter race’.

WCMC is planning a visit to the BBC, where they intend to shame the Broadcasting House for its complicity in the ongoing crisis in Cameroon through its act of silence. Many feel let down by the BBC to whom they are required by British law to pay TV license.

Another protest at the French Embassy to demand a response to an earlier petition submitted is also planned.