In twenty two days of 2020, the Anglophone regions of Cameroon have witnessed the most intensified burnings with disturbing images of homeless kids whose parents have either been killed or made to flee for their lives.
In Bali Nyonga Subdivision, a villager who witnessed one of the burnings firsthand spoke to us on phone. He explained how the military invaded the village and a gun battle began with separatist fighters.
He and other villagers fled for their lives.
“The whole village was in total confusion, the boys came from the bushes to target the military, we were caught in the middle and everyone ran to his own direction” he spoke about the incident which happened on Sunday morning January 19, 2020.
Bali’s incident happened just one week after the military invaded Awing, another village in the North West region.
The raid saw the burning down of livestock and property and more than one live lost.
Awing’s attack took place on Thursday January 9, 2020, when soldiers were tipped of separatist presence of separatist fighters in Mbenjom, a quarter in Awing.
Thundering gunshots caused business persons to escape to nearby bushes, abandoning their goods, houses and business premises which were later burnt.
“A shrine in Mbenjom quarter was also burnt” a source recounted.
Another incident occurred in Ngoketunjia Division where houses were also raised down in flames.
With heightened raids and burnings in the Anglophone regions, there is a huge pointer that government action of mollycoddling the military has fueled the intensified burnings, 22 days into 2020.
The burnings come after President Paul Biya in his new year’s speech renewed threats to battle separatists in the Anglophone regions.
“For those who persist in going down the wrong road and using violence , we will have no other choice than to combat them in order to protect all our fellow citizens. Our Defense and security forces will once again perform their duty with restraint, but without weakness. I wish to reassure them of my full support and high esteem.” – Paul Biya said firmly.
Three years on, the Biya regime has failed to solve Cameroon Anglophone crisis.
More than three thousand people have been recorded dead and half a million displaced.
For peace to reign, Cameroonians are expecting the regime to announce peace measures to the Cameroon Anglophone crisis, including freedom for detained Anglophone leaders and all incarcerated as a result of the crisis, demilitarization of the Anglophone regions and an all inclusive dialogue with key separatist forces.