The students at the University of Buea are not happy. Recently there was an exam for entrance to the medical school. A list of 127 names were published of the candidates that passed. A few days later a different list was published from the ministers of education in Yaounde with 153 names on it. My understanding is that the added 26 names were of francophone's, who did not take the entrance exam and are related to various ministers in Yaounde. So as you can understand this upset the students of the University. They do not was to be associated with the corruption that goes on in this country. They want the university to be run probably and each student should deserve their place on merit, not who they are related to.
As a result of the newly published list the students went on strike. Now when i say strike I mean a rampage. We were away in Kribi and thankfully missed it all. The main rioting was on Wednesday night last week and we returned on Thursday. The area of Buea near the university was like a ghost town. All the shops were shut, there were burnt out cars on the roads, smashed sign boards and a tank in the entrance to the University.
Joe was supposed to play football that afternoon but all meetings of groups were banned in case you were students plotting. There was a large police presence and a very eerie feeling about the town. Before we came to Cameroon we read the advice of the foreign office and the only danger it mentioned about Buea was the rioting students as a year or so ago there was a similar episode (not sure what that one was about).
At least two students were shot and killed (by police) during the rioting, some people are saying maybe it was 3, 4 or 5. I have dug out a few news stories from a Cameroon news paper. The initial report, photos of the riot (I have spared you the photos of the dead, which are on this news site) and a follow up story. There are rumors they may start up again as the SU president is being held by police with no charges. We are away from the main area of trouble and will keep a low profile for a couple of days. No need to worry about us its the poor medical students trying to sit exams you need to worry about.