5,000 Evicted and 250 Homes Destroyed

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Land Social/public
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 29 July 2008
Region AFF [ Africa francophone ]
Country Cameroon
Location Ntaba-Nlongkak, Yaounde

Affected persons

Total 5000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Details CAM-FEDN 140808 en.doc
CAM-FEDN 140808 fr.doc
Forced eviction
Housing losses
- Number of homes 250
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative On 31 June 2008, the Municipality of Yaoundé presented the inhabitants of the Ntaba-Nlongkak district (Commune of Yaoundé 1st) with an order to vacate their dwellings by 8 July 2008.

On 1 July 2008, a team of the Municipality of Yaoundé descended on Ntaba-Nlongkak and marked crosses on the dwellings to be destroyed in the eight days to follow. At once, panic overcame the few remaining of the 5,000 people who live in nearly 250 houses. Knowing what had already occurred with the other districts of Yaoundé (i.e., Etetak, Mballa II, Tsinga, and Nkolbisson), systematically razed by the Municipality of Yaoundé, the inhabitants of Ntaba-Nlongkak (men, women and children) started from 7 July to empty their houses and, transport their belongings and settle at the edge of the road. Heaps of personal effects were transported, much of which was lying at the edge of the road, as the victims tried to collect their belongings before the start of the demolitions. Indeed, on 29 July, the Urban Community of Yaoundeé began the demolitions. More than 5,000 people are today without shelters and nearly 250 destroyed houses.

The Ntaba-Nlongkak district is a shantytown located along one of the main boulevards connecting the urban centre of Yaoundé to the compound of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroun. This locality has formed part of the marshy zones that the municipality considers as part of the administrative domain of the State. It has been occupied for forty years by informal constructions belonging to poor families. The community is comprised of several distinct social groups, inlcuding indigenous people, aliens/migrants (owners and tenants), young people and a great number of children still going to the school.

Being based on the pattern of preceding demolitions and evictions in Yaoundé, the Ntaba-Nlongkak residents and opponents to the evictions emphatically assert the human right to adequate and sufficient housing. It is greatly feared, and already demonstrated by the demolitions, that the authorities will ignore the human rights obligations to the residents of Ntaba-Nlongkak.

Any eviction raises the question of the state’s obligation to protect basic rights, and specifically the human rights. In the case of the Ntaba-Nlongkak district, the Municipality of Yaoundé is the duty holder responsible for carrying out the eviction operations. However, the State is directly implicated.
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