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September 20, 2013

Protester Dies of Hunger in Cameroon

by VOA News

At least one protester has died of hunger in Cameroon's capital, where hundreds of retrenched workers are demonstrating to demand promised government pay-outs.

Cameroon's Finance Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey acknowledged the death at a news conference Friday and said the government has sent medical staff to take care of the other protesters.

The protesters gathered in Yaounde this week to call for severance pay they were promised more than two decades ago when the government cut their jobs.  Some say they have no money, and have been sleeping on the street while in the capital.

The finance minister said Friday the government will release severance money totaling $14 million, up from an earlier pledge of $4 million.  He called on the protesters to return home and wait for word on when they can collect their payments.

His promise came ahead of parliamentary elections set for September 30.