NBCWashington.com ( updated 3:15 p.m. CT, Thurs., Nov . 19, 2009)
A protest at the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon turned violent
this morning when the Cameroonian ambassador stormed from the building
and assaulted two people outside, a well-placed source tells News4.
Ambassador Joseph Bienvenu Charles Foe Atangana rushed into
the crowd and assaulted the leader of the protest, and then pushed a
woman to the ground, witnesses said. The woman, a passer-by not
involved in the protest, had been taking pictures. Her camera was
thrown to the ground. Both of the injured were transported from the
scene by ambulance.
Local police and the Secret Service responded to the scene. The matter's now been turned over to the State Department.
The group of paid protesters, bearing signs in French, were
gathered outside the embassy at 2349 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. They claim
that Cameroonian officials are siphoning off U.S.-granted funds
intended for the people of Cameroon.
The frustrated protesters say they were supposed to be paid
for their work. Now that their leader has been taken from the scene,
they're saying it's not clear if they'll receive payment.