Arol Ketchiemen, a France-based Cameroonian author, has expressed concerns that many of his countrymen are being deprived of justice because the Cameroon government continues to pile unresolved criminal cases without investigating them.
In his new book, “Riviere de Sang,” which means “River of Blood” in English, Ketchiemen talks about 20 unsolved criminal cases involving death that happened between 1960 and 2013.
The files for these cases have been buried in prosecutor and police offices, and there is no hope that they will ever be looked at again.
Most of these cases involve the murders or suspected murders of well-known people, and the authorities have done nothing more about them.
“Indeed, in the contemporary history of Cameroon, there is a myriad of unsolved criminal cases and generally the subject of classifications without follow-up. No real effort is made to elucidate these crimes, or to obtain justice for the victims as is done elsewhere, in particular through real investigations, books, and films/documentaries,” says the author on his Facebook page.
He adds that the book aims “to raise questions about these crimes, to stimulate debate, to encourage potential witnesses to speak, to keep these cases in the collective memory, to raise questions about the motives and the perpetrators, to feed the collective memory, to overcome oblivion, and to bring peace to the families of the victims.”
Some of the sensitive cases revisited by the book are the nine who disappeared from Bepanda prison; the disappearance of Guérandi Mbara; the assassination of Narcisse Djomo Pokam; the death of René Journiac; the alleged suicide of Mr. Pewé; the assassination of the young student Njongoué Kamga Collins; the assassinations of Father Engelbert Mveng, Mgr Yves Plumey and the religious sisters of Djoum, among others.
Ketchiemen, who is based in Paris, France, says he is interested in the history and management of public affairs in Cameroon and that is incomplete if such high-profile crimes are not solved.
His recently published book is just one of the author’s several works.
He has also written a dictionary on the origin of the surnames of African countries, which he published in 2014, as well as a book on the prominent men and women who have shaped the contemporary history of Africa. This was published in 2017.
Cameroon’s government’s reluctance to investigate criminal issues appears to be not just an issue that exists in history, but rather an ongoing issue, making Ketchiemen’s book a timely one.
Among the several public issues that have never been investigated is the murder of journalist Samuel Wazizi, after his arrest by security forces in 2020.
Nothing has been said about it for the past few years, despite a promise made by President Paul Biya that the government was going to investigate the cause of his death.
Ketchiemen’s book is therefore, a must-read for anyone who seeks to promote transparency, accountability and justice within the Cameroon criminal justice system.
Mimi Mefo Info