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Student Activists Arrested and Detained in Cameroon

Security forces in Cameroon have arrested and detained the president and vice president of the Student Activist Movement at the University of Yaounde One, the country’s main university system. Meanwhile, the students are calling for a boycott of all classes until their leaders are released.

Frankline Bayern is political editor of the English language Herald newspaper of Cameroon. He told English to Africa reporter James Butty the police arrested the student leaders on the second day of a protest against a government demand that the students pay a $100 fee. Mr. Bayern says the authorities gave the students an ultimatum: they must pat part of the fee by December 7th or lose access to science laboratories and tutorial lessons. In May of this year, the students held countrywide protests against the proposed fee. But Mr. Bayern says the government failed to address the students’ concerns. He says the government of Cameroon believes the $100 annual fee is nothing compared to the $1,200 dollars it is paying to subsidize each student. But Mr. Bayern says the $100 a year fee is more than most students can afford.