As tension rope in the French Cameroons, with reports from Douala of 40 people killed by armed rebel bands, foreign diplomatists arrived at Yaounde airport, Dec 31, for the following day's independence celebrations of the new Republic of Cameroon.
Governor Tore & Premier Ahidjo waiting at airport
French delegation arrive.
Soviet delegation arrive.
Cabot Lodge arrives.
German delegation arrive.
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Background: As tension rope in the French Cameroons, with reports from Douala of 40 people killed by armed rebel bands, foreign diplomatists arrived at Yaounde airport, Dec 31, for the following day's independence celebrations of the new Republic of Cameroon.
With the arrival of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjoeld, America's Henry Cabot Lodge and delegations from France, Germany and the Soviet Union, received by outgoing French Governor Xavier Tore and Prime Minister Ahidjo, came the announcement that "as a measure of prudence" the only ceremony would be the symbolic hauling down of the French and United Nations flags when the new Cameroon flag was hoisted. Security precautions in Yaounde, the capital, were redoubled for fear of incidents, but for the sake of the foreign guests a night-time curfew was lifted.
Violence broke out again in the evening of Dec 31, in the Briquetteries quarter of Yaounde, where a raid - attributed by the authorities to the banned Cameroons People's Union (UPC) was carried out against Baboumn, Haoussa and Bassa tribesmen. five people were killed and wight wounded in the clash.
Independence Day, an Jan 1, was declared a "day of mourning" by the UPC whose founder, Dr Moumie, leads armed opposition to the Cameroons Government from Comakry, capital of Guinea. The UPC, which began as a trade union organisation, was banned in 1955 after a rising at Douala, the country's chief port and biggest town. Members went into hiding in the bush and have since pursued a policy of violence for which they openly claim responsibility.
In view or armed attacks in the west of the country, estimated to have cost more than 200 lives in the past six months. Parliament was dissolved and Mr Ahidjo's government now holds full powers. Prime Minister Ahidjo has declared an amnesty for all UPC supporters who renounce violence, and a number who took refuge in the British Cameroons are reported to have returned in the past few days in the Nkongsamba frontier region.