DOUALA – The Governor of the Littoral region in Douala Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, assured, Thursday, that the security services will, inevitably, get their hands on the perpetrators of the attack, having targeted, in Douala on Sunday evening, three Algerian journalists who came to cover the CAN-2021 African Cup of Nations (postponed to 2022) in Cameroon (January 9 – February 6).
“Since this incident occured, the police immediately set out for a thorough investigation of the attackers. It is a completely isolated case committed by thieves and gangs. Security measures have been deployed at the hotel level where the Algerian journalists are located. However, certain individual arrangements should be made, so as not to be exposed to any danger irrespective to its danger “, indicated the first person in charge of the Littoral region, during a press briefing held in Douala , together with the Algerian Ambassador to Cameroon Mr. Boumediene Mahi.
Coming to cover CAN-2021, the three representatives of the national press (Aïssani Mohamed, Smaïl Mohamed Amokrane, and Dahak Mehdi), were attacked on the evening of Sunday, and had some personal belongings stolen, including a passport and three cell phones. A journalist was even taken to hospital for treatment.
The first person in charge of the Littoral region in Douala, called on the media to “not trust social networks in the treatment of this case.
“We should go to the source of the right information, and not rely on social networks. We will do everything to catch up with the perpetrators of this aggression.”
However, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua regretted the misuse of this iusolated act, by certain “malicious” parties, in order to damage the image of Cameroon, and the general organization of CAN-2021.
“People who cling to this incident eye to distort the image of the CAN organizer Cameroon. On behalf of the Cameroonian government, we express the determination of the Head of State, Paul Biya, to accompany this sporting event until the end. The enemies of the Republic are everywhere. Our ambition is to succeed in this competition. We pay respect to these three Algerian journalists, who despite the proposals made to change hotel, decided to remain there, and the good atmosphere continues “, he added, while stressing:” We continue to work so that the stolen objects are found “.
Asked about a possible trip of the Algerian media delegation to the city of Limbé, the English-speaking part of Cameroon, deemed unstable on the security plan, to cover the match of the 1/8 finals of the national team, the governor called on journalists to seize the local authorities beforehand.
“If you go to Limbé, our duty is to provide you with the necessary safety,” he concluded.
For his part, the Ambassador of Algeria to Cameroon, Boumediene Mahi stressed that the attack was carried out by a gang from Cameroon.
“The first step I took was to contact the Cameroonian officials, requesting the elucidation of the circumstances of the aggression and those involved,” Mahi said in a press conference held, today, in Cameroon.
In this vein, Mr. Mahi dubbed the incident as an “isolated act,” stressing that it did not reflect the true culture of Cameroonians and the security in Douala.
“We took care of the journalists. We requested a garrison for every Algerian in Cameroon. As long as the health state of the Algerian journalists, victims of this assault, is concerned, i would like to inform you that Ismail Amakran, along with his comrades, have recovered as their health conditions are reassuring and do not cause concern,” stressed the Ambassador.
In a related context, the Algerian envoy confirmed that some parties eye to take advantage of the “isolated incident”, exploiting the act with the aim of distorting the image of Cameroon and damaging its credibility as the organizing country of the of African Cup.
“Cameroon has succeeded in raising the challenge of organizing the CAN, and there are other challenges awating,” underlined the diplomat.
And to add: “The authorities in Cameroon were cooperative, assuring to take the necessary measures to provide the indispensable protection for their guests.”
It is worth recalling that Algerian journalists had been attacked on the backs and legs with bladed weapons in the Cameroonian city of Douala. Three of them were injured and ended up in hospital.
To this end, people armed with white weapons intercepted journalists covering the African Nations Cup matches, which kicked off on Sunday evening, as they were leaving the hotel and assaulted them, as a result of which three of them were injured.
The assailants robbed them of all their possessions, including passports, while stripping them of their belongings like cell phones. These cowardly attacks have already been strongly condemned by public opinion.
As a result, Cameroonian security forces cordoned off the hotel where Algerian journalists are staying in Douala.