YAOUNDE – A lawmaker was hurt by flying debris thrown by another MP as legislators clashed during a chaotic budget debate in Cameroon, sources told AFP Saturday.
The session saw Hermine Patricia Ndam Njoya of the opposition Democratic Union of Cameroon (UDC) “hurl into the air” parts of her desk to protest the assembly speaker’s refusal to allow her party’s legislators to speak, UDC communications officer Amadou Mongwat said.
Parts of the damaged desk landed on the head of a member of the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, causing light injury.
Mongwat said Njoya had apologised but the incident still saw the session suspended.
Meanwhile, footage quickly spread on social media of the bloodied victim being bandaged up.
Lawmakers from the main social democratic SDF opposition also interrupted the session before and after the incident by chanting slogans and even trying to drown out proceedings by blowing vuvuzela horns.
Confusion was all the greater as the session finally limped to an end as the speaker announced the adoption of the budget without further discussion.
The chaos in the assembly came with Cameroon already in the throes of an escalating crisis in a restive English-speaking region.
The president of the senate meanwhile promised to have a commission investigate the anglophone issue.
Government spokesman Issa Tchiroma had Friday underlined President Paul Biya’s firm commitment to use all available means to rid the country of “separatists”.
Last month four Cameroonian soldiers were killed by suspected separatists in the southwest of the country, while international monitors say at least 20 people have been killed since late September.
Resentment among anglophones over perceived discrimination has fed a spiral of political demands and also a government crackdown, leading to calls for secession.
Tchiroma further explained that novelist Patrice Nganang’s arrest last Wednesday in Douala came following the posting on Facebook of a death threat against the head of state.