Cameroon police detain 60 regime opponents

Police in Cameroon on Tuesday detained around 60 members of the opposition who had gathered in Yaounde to protest any attempts to change the constitution to extend the 34-year rule of President Paul Biya, opponents told AFP.

"Around 60 people were taken in for questioning" Tuesday morning as they were due to attend a press conference organised by several opposition parties, said Christophe Bobiokono, member of the national commission on human rights and freedoms.

He added that they were questioned and eventually released, although he could not confirm by Tuesday night that all of them had been let go.

The police blocked the site of the press conference, which was called to denounce any bid to change the constitution, and used tear gas on the opponents as they tried to disperse, said Emmanuel Simh, vice president of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC).

The opposition claims the Cameroonian parliament wants to change the constitution "to benefit only one person", the country's 83-year-old president.

In recent weeks, some top officials of the ruling party have called on Biya to think about running for the next election expected in 2018, which would require a change to the constitution.

An amendment to the constitution in 2008 had removed the two-term limit for a president, allowing Biya to run again. He was re-elected for seven years in 2011.
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