Why is there a Chinese language police automotive roaming the streets of Douala, Cameroon?

Residents of Douala, Cameroon, took a number of pictures and movies of a police automotive with Mandarin written on it in January.

Locals mentioned that they had seen the automotive, which was being pushed by Cameron cops, in a neighborhood with a lot of Chinese language companies on a number of events since late 2022. Our crew determined to analyze, to search out out the place this automotive got here from.

On January 12, a photograph of a automotive was posted to the Fb web page “Nzoi Manto ye sip sip” with the caption (in French): “[Cameroonian President] The Paul Biya regime offered Cameroon to China. […] Chinese language police patrol in Aqua, the Chinese language enterprise district [in Douala, Cameroon]. ”

On this image, you may see the phrase “POLICE” written in French and Mandarin on the again door of the automotive. There’s a emblem on the entrance door that seems to incorporate each the Cameroonian and Chinese language flags in addition to the letters “CCPCCCC”. There may be additionally a Mandarin graffiti that roughly interprets as “Cooperation Heart between the Chinese language Group and the Police of the Chinese language Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon”.

This publish is concerning the Chinese language police automotive that has been noticed on quite a few events in Douala. She claims that the Akwa neighborhood is patrolled by Chinese language police and that Cameroonian President Paul Biya “offered the nation” to the Chinese language.

The JowharObservers crew spoke to a number of residents of Douala, who instructed us that they had seen this automotive a number of instances since late 2022 within the Aqua neighborhood, dwelling to quite a lot of Chinese language corporations. The locals additionally instructed us that they all the time noticed the Cameroonian police inside.

On January thirtieth, a Douala resident despatched our crew 4 pictures displaying what seems to be the identical automotive that appeared within the authentic publish. You may see the identical emblem on the again door in addition to the phrase “Police” written in French. The one distinction between these pictures and the primary is which you could now not see the phrase “police” written in Mandarin.

An identical car was additionally seen in Douala. Photographs despatched to our crew by Frank, a resident of Douala on January thirtieth. Nevertheless, it’s probably the identical automotive in each the publish from January twelfth and these final pictures as a result of the again door is broken in precisely the identical place.

We have put the images facet by facet for comparability. Nzui Manto Yi sep sep “Fb web page from January twelfth (left). Frank despatched this second picture to our crew on January thirtieth (proper).” There have been two Cameroonians in police uniforms within the automotive.” Frank (not his actual identify) took the 4 pictures that have been despatched to our crew, and he needed to stay nameless for worry of retaliation from the Cameroonian authorities.

These pictures have been taken round 8 am on January thirtieth. There have been two Cameroonians in police uniforms within the automobiles. They stopped the automotive and certainly one of them, whom I acknowledged, went to a retailer to purchase a case for his cellphone. Then they left once more. All this occurred in Douala, on Avenue Gallieni, close to the Ancien Troisième market. Within the space there are a number of cell phone shops.

Our crew has geolocated Frank’s pictures, proving that they have been certainly taken in Acqua, Douala. Frank despatched this picture to our crew on January 30 (left), and the picture on the suitable exhibits pictures of the location that have been posted to Google. Since December I’ve seen this automotive within the space on a number of events, every time with the Cameroonian police on board, by no means the Chinese language. As for the officers I noticed on January thirtieth, I noticed them in a “basic” Cameroonian police automotive as properly.

I’m not blissful to see a automotive with Chinese language graffiti spreading in Cameroon. I do not assume a Cameroonian police automotive can flow into in China.

I assumed this automotive was right here to discourage these attacking the Chinese language. In January, certainly one of them was assaulted, and the following day, I noticed this automotive driving across the Ancien Troisième market, surveying the world and searching on the safety cameras.

A Chinese language particular person was attacked on Avenue Gallini in Douala (you may see the incident at round 0’44). “Younger males robbed his store, they stole the cash,” says Gilles Nobisi, marketing consultant at G&J Média.

Is that this car getting used to guard the Chinese language inhabitants in Douala? Our crew has spoken with quite a lot of individuals who, like Frank, consider the automotive is there to guard individuals of Chinese language descent who reside in Douala.

China might present cash to the Cameroonian police to make sure their safety. Julio, a resident who watched the automotive spin himself, mentioned,

The insecurity felt by the Chinese language dwelling in Cameroon is properly documented.

“The Chinese language authorities is increasingly more involved concerning the safety of its residents in Cameroon, particularly shopkeepers. Throughout a go to by the Chinese language president in 2007, Chinese language residents requested an interview with him to complain concerning the repeated assaults that they had been subjected to,” says this report (translated from French) launched Concerning the French Institute of Worldwide Relations, which was revealed in June 2022.

Cameroonian police have been nervous about this, our crew reached out to Joyce Manding, Cameroonian police communications officer. She didn’t wish to remark however mentioned the police had not obtained a single criticism concerning the matter and that the automotive within the pictures didn’t appear to be Cameroonian police automobiles [Editor’s note: which are generally dark blue].

The communications officer of the regional safety delegation for the coastal area – the place Douala is positioned – didn’t reply our questions both.

Journalists working for the Cameroonian media outlet Information Cameroon have been in a position to get some data from the Akwa police station the place an officer instructed them, “It is just one automotive. Douche patrols.” [Editor’s note: an area in Akwa] day and night time. This car accompanies Chinese language shopkeepers when they should make transfers at banks.”

The Chinese language Embassy in Cameroon says it’s “not conscious of this challenge.” Our crew contacted the Chinese language Embassy in Cameroon, who instructed us they have been “not conscious of this challenge,” including: “China has all the time adhered to the precept of non-interference in different international locations’ inner affairs, strict adherence to worldwide legislation, and respect for the judicial sovereignty of all international locations. The Chinese language police haven’t taken any motion.” It didn’t set up any amenities in Cameroon.”

It seems that China is making an attempt to develop one thing just like what it’s doing in South Africa. In different international locations illegally, making an attempt to manage their nationals overseas.

Proper now, Safeguard Defenders hasn’t revealed something about Africa, however Chen did a few of his personal analysis on the problem:

Due to the long-term insecurity in South Africa, there are already many [co-operation centres between local police and the Chinese community] In South Africa, for instance in KwaZulu-Natal. There are no less than 9 in South Africa as of 2017.

The opening ceremony of the Chinese language Group Police Cooperation Heart in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2022. © 52hrtt.com However the curious factor right here is that it’s run by Chinese language Chambers of Commerce or enterprise unions from China, with the help of the Embassy. And native police chiefs in native areas additionally appear blissful to have them: that is one thing particular, completely different from the studies we’ve got revealed.

After I’ve been doing my analysis on Cameroon, it appears to be a little bit of a brand new factor, and I do not actually know the way it works. However since there are numerous facilities like this in South Africa, it’s straightforward to duplicate it elsewhere in Africa. Nevertheless it is determined by how prepared the native legislation enforcement authorities are to have interaction with the Chinese language group.

The “CCPCCCC” on the automotive in Douala may stand for the “Chinese language Chamber of Commerce of the Cameroon Police and China Cameroon”.

We received in contact with Weng Mingfa, president of the Chinese language Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon. The identify of this group seems on the emblem of the mysterious automotive seen in Douala. Nevertheless, he didn’t reply our questions.

This picture exhibits Weng Mingfa, president of the Chinese language Chamber of Commerce in Cameroon in 2017. The brand to Mingfa’s left seems to be just like the design on the automotive that confirmed up in Douala. © Sohu.com

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