The national gendarmerie is concerned about the rise in cases of mob justice in Bafoussam, the regional capital of the West region. "Since the third quarter of this year, we have recorded at least fifteen cases, which are tantamount to social and moral regression. Victims are usually abused and inflicted inhumane treatment, and sometimes these led to death," says Lieutenant-Colonel Yannick Pantaléon Assogo Bolo, commander of the Bafoussam territorial gendarmerie group, on Equinoxe TV.
According to recent information, the most recent incident occurred just a few days ago, where a mototaxi driver accused of motorcycle theft was fatally attacked by a mob. Lieutenant-Colonel Assogo Bolo confirmed that the perpetrators, who were identified as fellow mototaxi drivers, had been apprehended. The group of five young men responsible for this "abhorrent act" is now in custody. The military officer also emphasized the importance of placing trust in the judicial system and refraining from vigilante actions.
Violent mob justice is a recurring issue in Cameroon. Typically, the perpetrators justify their actions by citing a lack of trust in the police, judiciary, and prison system, along with the perceived sluggishness of the legal process. They often believe in their right to defend and safeguard themselves, resorting to acts of violent "justice" when they identify alleged offenders. Individuals accused of theft become the primary targets. Mere accusations frequently suffice to incite the crowd to engage in murderous violence, with passers-by becoming perpetrators upon witnessing the incident or hearing the cry of "Thief!" This practice, pervasive across regions, persists despite the Penal Code's provisions for sanctions for those who cause injury, death, or harm, depending on whether the perpetrator's intention is proven or not.