By Kesah Princely in Buea
Dozens of Blind and Visually Impaired Cameroonians have complained of reprisal from security forces during a peaceful protest against their neglect by the country’s government.
Despite the many challenges persons with visual impairment face acquiring formal education in Cameroon, most of them who succeed to go through the expensive and daunting process have remained unemployed.
The challenges range from the lack of financial resources, uninclusive libraries void of Braille books, and digital assistive devices as well as inaccessible infrastructure.
Owing to the rising unemployment among these category of people, taking to the streets to brandish placards expressing their discontent seems to be the only weapon left at their disposal.
Grouped under the Movement of Angry Blind and Visually Impaired, dozens of protesters Monday, June 27, 2022, took to the streets of Yaounde capital of Cameroon, to air out their frustration.
Reliable information reaching TWIF NEWS is that while at least 25 demonstrators were apprehended by security forces, some had their white cans broken, while others were injured in the process.
TWIF NEWS understands that, some leaders of the Movement had been threatened and others allegedly bribed in a bid to stop the Angry Blind and Visually Impaired from embarking on the protest which had been announced since December 27, 2021 in an opened letter addressed to the country’s Prime Minister.
Besides the threats and rumor of bribery, the Minister of Social Affairs NGUENE née KENDECK Pauline Irène promised to look into demands such as the finance of projects, age waiver in competitive entrance exams, and the lounge of a special recruitment scheme for persons with Disabilities in Cameroon.
2 months after meeting with the Minister, most of the promises remained unfulfilled, prompting the blind and Visually impaired youths to stage a protest in Yaounde.
Despite meeting with police brutality on the first day of the protest, the demonstrators returned to the streets this Wednesday to continue their crusade for better economic and social reforms.
The peaceful manifestation comes barely 7 months after Cameroon ratified the 2006 UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities which calls on states to ensure the socio-economic and political inclusion and of Persons with Disabilities in mainstream activities.