Prior to the destruction of houses which occured on May 14th , living many homelesss, Sawa Indegenes on May 20th took to the streets in Douala to in protest against what they termed expropriation of their lands.
All clothed in black garments as they marched across Dikolo village in Bali, Douala I subdivision, expressing their discontentment with the recent demolition occupants of Dikolo Bali suffered a week ago in favour of the construction of a hotel in the area.
The day which had been termed ”Black Friday” by the Sawa people saw a massive turnout of those whose houses had been demolished and others who cried for justice to be served.
They said government had decided to expropriate lands owned by the people in the village because a five-star hotel is to be built on the area. The paramount Chief of Bonanjo , H.m Eboumbou Jean Yves, who had boycotted the National Day celebrations to lead the people in search for justice,speaking in the duala language, called on the ancestors to fight and protect their people and not let injustice prevail.
Between 4 to 5,000 inhabitants of this area of the economic capital of Cameroon are without a roof over their heads, after an operation carried out by the authorities at the request of private operators who claim to hold a land title on this space of nearly 3 hectares.
“Everything has been destroyed. I couldn’t save anything“, says Endale in front of a bare piece of land where his house stood a few hours ago.
Long before now, on October 28 2021, res crosses had been affixed to the hom,es and businesses built on the area, indicating imminent demolition of an area estimated at over two hectares.
The SDO of the Wouri, Benjamin Mboutout, is said to have given occupants a period of 30 days which ran until November 30th 2021 to evacuate the premises before the breakages could commence.
After numerous protest, and an audience granted by the prime Minister to elected representatives of the ” Wouri Center People”, a visit to the premises by Hon Cabral Lii, as well as the assursnces given by HM Jean Yves Eboumbou Duala Manga Bell, the eviction operation were delayed for more than six months till the dawn of saturday May 14th.