Under the high instructions of the President of the Republic, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, Joseph Beti Assomo, arrived Buea on Thursday, 12th October 2017 to preside over an important an evaluation meeting of the security situation in the North West and South West Regions which have fallen prey to terrorists' acts and other security threats for well over a time.
The Governors of the two concerned Regions and the high command of the central and territorial defence and security forces as well as officials of the military tribunals are taking part in the meeting.
The meeting will scrutinise the security situation and evaluate the workability of the various security measures on the field to adapt them to the the yardstick of respect of law and order. The meetingis taking place behind closed doors.
A simple definition of justice is "fairness in the way people are treated."
Justice is fundamental to the world. That is why in truly democratic societies the judiciary arm of government ensures that there is justice in the implementation of the laws formulated by the legislative arm of government thus providing checks and balances to curb the excesses of the executive arm of government and ensure that nobody stands above the Law! To go by John Locke, government is like a secretary whom you hire to do for you the job you do not want to do yourself. I wonder whether it works this way in advanced democracies!
Going by our earlier definition of justice we realise that God's emphasis on rest on the Sabbath day was to ensure justice for the hired hands and the beasts of burdens.
In capital oriented economies the concern of the capitalist is to maximize profit and minimize cost. The hired hand puts in long hours of hard work with chickenfeed pay that barely put food on the table. Meanwhile the master cares very little about the health situation of the worker or the beast of burden.
Probably why the English say "do not ride a willing horse to death."
The labourer does not only deserve his wages, he deserves his rest as well.
To this end God gives a strong injunction emphasising the importance of a day of rest.
Rest is necessary both for body and soul. Rest is so important that in his gigantic work of creation God still found time to rest on the seventh day.
To ensure that justice was done on the overworked servants, workers and animals of burden God proclaimed the Sabbath holy unto himself(Ex. 20:8-11).
My friend, in this week our emphasis is on the pursuance of justice in all spheres of life.
Today we learn that God declares the Sabbath holy as a means of strengthening and ensuring justice for the less privileged!
May God bless and protect you all through the week and enable you to exercise justice and fairness on those under you so that they can feel the impact of God's holy Sabbath upon their lives! Peace be with you!
Bishops of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference, BAPEC, have once again issued a sterling memo to President Paul Biya, urging him to “stop the bloodbath and genocide that has skillfully been initiated in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.”
The seven page document is titled: Declaration of the Bishops of the Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference following the massive demonstrations and the curfew imposed on the Northwest and Southwest Regions:”
The memo, signed by the BAPEC Bishops viz: Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua, Mgrs. Immanuel Bushu, George Nkuo, Andrew Nkea, Agapitus Nfon and Michael Bibi, is dated October 4.
According to the Prelates, Anglophones went through a torrid period from September 22 to October 2.
“From Bota in Fako to Ako in Donga Mantung, from Bakassi in Ndian to Menji in Lebialem, families are weeping for their children... Since September 29, there have been various forms of violence and atrocities that have bedevilled most towns and villages of the Northwest and Southwest Regions... The groans from the dying and shrieks of the wounded make our hearts bleed from pain. The sighs of those who have lost property through looting or arson, the pain of anxiety inflicted on families and friends of those abducted or missing, the trauma caused on the young and the old by the fright from the warlike atmosphere in particular have left another heap of painful memories in our minds and hearts.
We want, in the first place, to express our profound grief and sympathies to those families who in the recent crisis have lost their dear ones, we express our solidarity with those who have sustained injuries and those suffering in any way, those arrested and incarcerated, and the families that have been separated from their loved ones or displaced. May the crucified Lord, with whom they are now hanging on the cross, be their consolation,” they wrote.
The men of God recalled that following the escalation of the crisis in 2016, they (BAPEC Bishops), said it was important to respect the country’s bicultural and bijural nature.
“We also condemned in very unequivocal terms the violence perpetuated by some groups of young people on one hand and the acts of brutality, torture, inhuman and unjustified treatment meted out on some youths by the forces of law and order on the other hand.
We called on the Government to restrain such barbaric action of the forces of law and order and to bring to justice those of them who had been irresponsible, so that peace may reign.”
The men of God bemoaned that Government did not heed their appeal, but rather “the CPDM ruling party went on to organise a so-called Peace March, which provoked the resistance of most of the people and the subsequent reaction of the forces of law and order that led to further violence on December 8, 2016.
The consequent result of the violence on that day was the shooting of unarmed youths by the forces of law and order.”
The Prelates regretted that despite their request for audience with the Head of State to brief him of the exact situation in the Anglophone Regions and to present a Memorandum on the Anglophone Problem, was discarded by the presidency.
“In the Memorandum, we gave the historical background of the Anglophone Problem, articulated the Problem, gave various instances in which the Problem is manifested and proposed a way forward to solve the socio-political impasse in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
The requested audience was never granted...rather, we have been erroneously accused of being the invisible hand supporting the activists and keeping the schools closed as it is evidenced by the fact that we were dragged to court for treason... and other related accusations.”
The Bishops said September 22, was a turning point in the Crisis, as people of all walks of life stormed the streets of the former West Cameroon to express their right to self-determination.
To the clergy, the climax of the Anglophone Crisis came in prelude to October 1, when Government slammed a curfew on the two Regions, forbidding movement and public assembly of more than four persons
“On October 1, some Priests and Christians were prevented by the ...military from going to church and so they failed to exercise their constitutional right of freedom of worship. In some areas, we noted with disgust that some Christians were tear-gassed as they came out of Mass... BAPEC is sad and disturbed, having learned that some of our Christians were pursued into their houses, some arrested, others maimed and some were simply shot to death...
Elsewhere in the world, the forces of law and order protect demonstrating citizens. In our country, peaceful demonstrations, except those organised by the ruling party, seem to be an opportune moment for our Armed Forces to demonstrate their shooting prowess both from the ground and from the air on unarmed and helpless civilians.”
Prelates Whack Tchiroma
The Bishops slammed Communication Minister for lauding the professionalism of the Armed Forces, in total disregard of the brutality and barbarism meted out on the population.
“Either the Minister of Communication was not adequately informed or he was misleading the national and international communities. The enthronement of lies, no matter from which side in our country, does not help in nation building.
It rather destroys the efforts of honest and God-fearing Cameroonians who truly seek to be free and responsible, not only for themselves but also for others and for their environment.
Today, at least in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, there is a huge gap of credibility between the population, those calling for restoration and the administration.”
They condemned the irresponsible use of firearms against unarmed civilians.
“The divine injunction: “Thou shalt not kill!” remains valid even in such circumstances. We call on the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to stop the bloodbath and genocide that has skilfully been initiated in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, said “a genocide begins with the killing of one man – not for what he had done – but for who he is”.
The statement by Government Spokesperson that some Anglophone Cameroonians are “terrorists” is a subtle call for what can be described as “ethnic cleansing” or a genocide as all Anglophone Cameroonians are now considered as ‘terrorists’ and as such qualify for elimination, just because they are Anglophones.
We need to stop the imminent genocide. We, as a nation, need a change of orientation to forestall any further deterioration of the situation in the Anglophone Regions.
We call on all stakeholders to exercise restraint, develop a sense of respect for the truth and for human dignity and return to an inclusive and facilitated dialogue that will begin a process of national healing and reconciliation.”
The Bishops said the massive turnout of people on September 22 and October 1 has proven that: “The Anglophone Problem now truly touches the hearts of very many people in all villages, towns and cities of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, it is no longer just a problem of “a few disgruntled Anglophones at home and in the Diaspora, as some people have tried to play it down and it is no longer just a problem of lawyers and teachers, as it seemed to be from the outset last year.
At the moment, the Anglophone Problem can no longer be taken lightly or ignored. It needs urgent attention, to avoid the growing genocide.
People have lost loved ones to brutal killings and do not even know where some of their corpses are. Every individual who is killed increases the number of aggrieved persons and families, resentment and anger, which are very difficult to address.”
BAPEC Condemns Irrational Way Of Achieving Independence
Meanwhile, the Prelates condemned the intoxication and exploitation of the masses by restoration groups and the irrational marches into Government offices to arrest civil administrators to reclaim their territory on October 1.
To the Bishops, the results of this irrational and unfeasible move were torture, arrest and killing of so many people.
The clergy denounced biased reporting, military acrobatic display with the use of helicopters on civilians, the killing of peaceful demonstrators and the arrest and transfer of Anglophones to Yaoundé.
“This adds to those arrested earlier during the year whose release the populations have been requesting from the Government. This only makes a bad situation worse.
Citizens of these two Regions have been branded as terrorists and are being treated as such. It is hard to believe that the hundreds of thousands of children, men and women, who came out to demonstrate peacefully on September 22 and October 1 are all terrorists.
We shall soon all be considered terrorists. Anglophones living in Francophone Cameroon are now targets.
The military have broken into some of their homes, looted and arrested people. The mere fact of being an Anglophone now looks like a crime in itself.
Hypocrisy Of Cameroon’s MPs
“The very fact that the Presidents of the Senate and of the National Assembly organised a rally at the Reunification Monument in Yaoundé on the same October 1 under the pretext of celebrating National Unity, when the military was intimidating, torturing, arresting and killing people in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, can be considered a mockery of the Anglophones, who were literally under siege and brutality for daring to air the same concerns.
This is an indication that the Government is insensitive to their problems and welfare and that they do not belong.”
Appeal For School Resumption
Meanwhile, the Prelates further stated that since all men ...have an inalienable right to education, all children in the Anglophone Regions of Cameroon should be given the opportunity to continue formal education.
“The Church believes that the school as a place of learning should always remain open, no matter what problems the people are undergoing.
The reason is that learning is absolutely essential for the better mastery and resolution of the same problems. It is precisely because such problems can take years to resolve, the best way for children to be involved in the struggle is by being in school, by studying.
We urge and encourage everyone to stand by all the schools in our two Regions so that our children may not be left behind through our own fault.”
The Prelate urged Government to release all arrested Anglophones, return the corpses of those killed on September 22 and October 1 and demilitarised the two Regions.
“We condemn all forms of threats, intimidation, wanton arrests, torture, and killings. We call for honest and meaningful dialogue with the right people to determine the nature and form of the State to be undertaken as soon as possible...”
TRUE TO OKALIA BILAI WORD..THE DOGS GOT THEIR WELL-DESERVED TREATMENT!
The other day we recalled 9/11 for USA and 9/22 for Cameroon.
Today we recall TIANAMEN SQUARE MASSACRE in CHINA that held 4th June 1989 as armed troops with assault rifles and tanks with machine guns were deployed to exterminate anyone who dared challenge the regime, after the Government declared Martial Law to oppress the uprising. This protest was set against the back drop of a failed economic system, galloping inflation and poor governance, starvation and generalized social tensions. Till date, its not clear as to how many people were killed during these protests as the government used crude means to dispose of many corpses. Deaths are estimated at about 2,500 people or more, killed with live bullets.
The ANGLOPHONE MASSACRE of October 1 1989 followed similar circumstances. History always repeats its ugly self because we arent humble enough to learn the lessons it offers us; instead, we are more interested to learn of historic dates. DICTATORS have always believed they are above GOD and above DEATH/DESTRUCTION and they have power over life and death of their citizens and arent held to account for their actions.
OCTOBER 1 2017 will be remembered for various reasons, both positively and negatively. For the first time in history, the Cameroon legislature organized a show of shame to commemorate October 1 as the ACTUAL REUNIFICATION DATE, a date that has been tabooed for 56 years. The truth can be buried but it can never be destroyed. On the day of reckoning, even the deepest oceans will explode and give up their dead and every hidden sin will be brought to light.
True to his menacing words, OKALIA BILAI kept his promise and hell hounds were unleashed upon the dogs to massacre them and to dispose of the corpses in the bushes since there wasnt enough time to bury them in mass graves like we saw with the OPERATIONAL COMMAND, LAKE NYOS, 1984 COUP and others. Such, is BIYA-style mass executions.
What occurred was carefully orchestrated in their demonic kilns.
FIRSTLY, a STATE OF EMERGENCY was declared to prohibit people from staying outdoors after 9pm to 6 am and from moving from one town to another.
SECONDLY, many BIRs were ferried into town by buses; some even came with commercial buses, MUSANGO.
THIRDLY, ISSA TCHIROMA made a trip to Douala, to give EQUINOXE a firm warning for them not to cover the event. (Prior to that a journalist of the said extraction was brutalized and his camera was completely destroyed and the military head warned him sternly, how his station had been supporting the Anglophone problem)
FOURTHLY, the SW Governor did similar by convening press organs to his cabinet to reiterate governments position of repressing truths about the Anglophone crisis
FIRTHLY, the internet was once again shut down as early as Friday for some individuals though the MINPOSTEL published a document negating internet shut down, which was a big lie. Within that time, MTN was carrying out experimental maneuvers on how they could deny internet access without overtly doing so- I explain, the 4G internet signal was visible, showing that there was internet when it was impossible to download or upload anything. In essence, the 4G was deliberately jammed by MTN. MTN sent broadcast messages, apologizing for disturbances in the network and that things were ok now, shortly after that, many subscribers lost internet connection on Friday as from 10;00am. And the BIRs never wanted anyone outside who could film their atrocities and show it to the world.
SIXTHLY, many francophones and some Anglophones who had access to top secret information left town latest Friday September 29. Uniformed officers evacuated their families out of Buea for fear of reprisal attacks.
By that same Friday evening, BUEA and BAMENDA were emptied. Few people ventured out of their houses on Saturday 30th. By that time, the internet shut down was complete for the Anglophone regions.
Then Sunday came and the massacre began. The atmosphere was so tense that going out was a nightmare, talk less of moving with a phone to get pictures would have been suicidal. The curfew didnt say people shouldnt go out during the day yet those who were seen out of home either met their death, were savagely beaten or were simply abducted.
These BIR elements who came disguised in Police and Gendarme uniforms to orchestrate the massacre of Anglophones. Their instructions were specific; [ nettoyez ces secteurs ambazoniens et disposez des corps], and it is exactly what they did. The first protester was shot in Muea on the leg and taken to the Health centre beside the market. At the health centre a shot was fired in the air for everyone to flee and nurses fled. The guy was kept there intentionally till he bled to death. When it was confirmed that he had died, the BIRs took the corpse away to an unknown destination.
In GCE board junction another guy was shot on the buttocks as he tried to block the road with a stone. He died on the spot. At Bakweri town the helicopter shot and killed two people and the BIRS carried the corpses to an unknown destination. Severe shooting occurred behind MOKI garage where houses were sprayed with bullets. A womans gate received bullets in quick succession. In mile 16 several people were shot and wounded and some died on the way to hospital. In one case, the BIRS deliberately sat on his body as he gasped for air and bled to death. Another wounded protester who managed to survive and is at the Regional Hospital BUEA now was locked up in a fridge at the SOPPO Brigade where he was tortured there till he came out white and shivering before he was taken to hospital and handcuffed in bed. As we speak, there are many wounded cases at the Buea HOSPITAL Surgical Ward. Those who managed to survive were pulled by their legs, with their backs on the floor from the road to the hospital as the nurses and patients present wailed and cried and stood there helpless in the midst of such high military power.
One man was shot in front of street 7 and volunteers ferried him to the hospital, the BIRs came and prevented them from getting him to hospital, he was thrown by the road side as protesters fled, where he bled to death and the BIRS ferried the corpse away. Severe shooting was recorded around the SW Governors office and its hard to determine those who were killed there. It will take a while before the exact number of people that were killed in BUEA will be determined. Several arrests were made and since GMI was full, MERMOZ banquet hall was broken into and used as a make shift cell pending the evacuation of these detainees to an unknown destination.
In my opinion, these detainees bust have been executed and dumped somewhere, under the cover of darkness. As we speak, there are several disappearances and people are asking about the fate of their loved ones. GMI BUEA is full every other day, with people who are demanding the whereabouts of their loved ones. Those in BUEA can find out to confirm or to refute this. Many houses at EKONA, MUEA, MOLYKO, MILE 16 and GREAT SOPPO were broken into and several people including women and children were molested. In EKONA both the helicopter and the long range machine gun were used to target people at a distance of 1KM away. During the EKONA crack down prior to October 1, many EKONA denizens had abandoned houses and sought refuge in the bushes and that is where they were targeted. Those bushes will need to be combed to pick up bodies from there. In EYUMUJOCK and other MANYU lands the same was carried out and shooting is ongoing till date. In addition to that, some houses are burnt down and some farms are destroyed. Shutting down the internet in these zones was deliberate, to shut the eyes o the world from the atrocities that are perpetrated by BIYA on the Anglophones.
The objective of the mission to AMBALAND by BIRs WAS SPECIFIC;
KILL AS MANY AS POSSIBLE AND DISPOSE OF THE CORPSES in the bushes as instructed by the Governor. The UN seemed to take interest in the number of deaths, reason why the KILL and DISPOSE agenda was put in place so as to conceal facts about the exact number of deaths. So if we add other hot spots like, FIANGO, IKILIWINDI, LEBIALEM, KUPE, MILE 4 LIMBE, then BAMENDA, BAFUT, KUMBO, and many others places where deaths were recorded, one may need only rocket science to comprehend the 10 deaths that were proclaimed by TCHIROMA. It was GENOCIDE and people will be charged with WAR CRIMES. I hope our leaders are also keeping relevant photographs and videos that will be used in future. People like OKALIA BILAI will be tried in their personal names. The BIYA he believes he is trying to please will not be able to protect him then. Those military men who are receiving orders to execute unarmed civilians with machine guns and helicopter gunships will be held to account for their crimes some day. It will take several weeks if not months to determine how many people were executed on October 1. More and more corpses will be discovered in the bushes as time unfolds. BIYA will also be charged with CRIMES AGAINST HUMANINTY, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Dont forget that it was the same man, OKALIA BILAI in complicity with SW Attorney General, ESOMBE EMILE who gave the GMI strict instructions to beat up any demonstrating lawyers within the SW Region if they dared demonstrate. True to LAURENT ESSOs word, these lawyers were treated as COMMON CRIMINALS; severely beaten in public, molested and rubbed in the mud, their wigs and gowns confiscated till date.
Later on, during the UB strike, OKALIA BILAI sent Gendarmes to severely beat up students who were peacefully protesting the additional fees that NALOVA wanted to use as a SHAMELESS CASH IN to secure her retirement. What was a peaceful march turned violent when gendarmes and police pounced on students, sending some into the bushes where some were raped, hostels were broken into and some lost valuables to theft and to destruction, students were beaten and forced to lie face down in sewage drainages. Several arrests and disappearances ensued. If lawyers could be treated as such, what about mere students?
The same OKALIA BILAI asked the Molyko police district to give an ally lawyer JOHN KAMANYI a snake-beating when the latter went to get the procedures for the procurement of a hand gun. It was the latter who fed OKALIA BILAI with the names of all the lawyers who were supporting the AGBORBALLL CONSORTIUM, in his usual double game. He got what he deserved though.
When you listen to LELE LAFRIQUE speak and you compare him with OKALIA BILAI, you realize that here is something definitely wrong with the latter. Dont forget that Bamenda is far more hostile than Buea yet LELE is so civil, as civil as the post he occupies, Civil Administrator not a Rogue Administrator who is taking his office so personal and makes scathing declarations about the same people he is called upon to govern. These are the morons called administrators who are imposed on us because they have god fathers in Yaoundé. If not of RENE SADI, we would have known of retired SDO OKALIA and not Governor OKALIA. He was due retirement even before he became SW Governor and he hopes to escape retirement and become minister from here, reason why he is fighting to shed as much blood as possible. When you shed blood in this Regime, you are either promoted or retained in office.
Why was BUEA which has been relatively calm the worst of all?
The AMBAZONIANS insisted on hoisting their flag at the PM LOUNGE which they did, thanks to tact and with the use of mystical powers by apprentice sorcerers in the words of BIYA. Two flags were hoisted at the 50th ANNIVERSARY square and at the PM LOUNGE, locations that are surrounded by two heavily armed military barracks as AMBAZONIANS kept their promise.
When the MUNAs talk of GENOCIDE, francophones want to hang. How different is this from GENOCIDE when one entity consistently kills the other?
ITEM: BOKO HARAM has been killing thousands of Cameroonians since 2014, how many people have AMBAZONIANS killed for the latter to be called terrorists?
ITEM: BOKO HARAM has been using, phone, TV and Internet lines to spread their was rhetoric and Islamist propaganda for ages, has the government ever shut down the internet in these regions as they do in Anglophone Cameroons
ITEM: In spite of all the atrocities committed by BOKO HARAM; abductions, rape, killings, arson and weird terrorism, the Government has negotiated with them on several occasions, paying them billions that they use to refinance evil but the same government is refusing to dialogue with its own citizens, calling them terrorists but cant negotiate with AMBAZONIA.
ITEM: Francophone Cameroon has registered untold strikes over the past year; politicians, Dockers, bikers, teachers, nurses, doctors, workers of defunct companies and so on but all have ended peacefully without a single shot fired in the air, when its the Anglophones, no matter how peaceful it is, blood must flow.
ITEM: over 8 Anglophones died last December, shot and killed in cold blood but nothing was mentioned of them but for the fact that the government claims they attacked forces of law and order and the latter shot in self defense. Lets imagine a scenario where an unarmed citizens attacking someone with a gun, preposterous! OKALIA BILA went to Limbe to visit a child who sprained his arm during a stampede that was caused by NO SCHOOL ACTORS but never thought of making even a consolatory statement about those who had been killed in cold blood because you dont apologize when you kill a cockroach at home or when you kill your neighbors dog that is destroying your property. What is the message? A francophone life is of superior value to that of an Anglophone, better still, both entities do not belong to the same country.
ITEM: when an entity consistently uses HATE SPEECH against the other entity is it not a precursor for genocide?
EMMA BASILE- ennemi dans la maison
JOSEPH OWONA- les biafrens
OWONA NGUINI-les terroristes qui doivent être pulvérisés
ERNEST OBAMA-les cafares (cockroaches in the house)
JEAN JACQUES ZE- les souris qui dérange la maison et doit être nettoyés
OKALIA BILAI- Dogs that will be decimated (indeed they were as we saw on October 1)
Consistently enough, these are all coming from people of the same extraction.
At the Mungo Bridge, if your ID card had a francophone name, they let you pass to Douala, if not you were retained. The same held for Dschang as we speak, then Mbouda and others. BIYA claims we are one and indivisible but BIYA has finally helped AMBAZONIA to divide Cameroon into two entities with the present military lock down of the Anglophone regions.
ITEM: our brothers in Douala and in Yaoundé are already targeted for what crime? BECAUSE THEY ARE ANGLOPHONES. Massive raids are being conducted there to round up people for inexplicable reasons.
ITEM: when the BOMB exploded in DOUALA, the Governor was quick to link it up with the kind of bombs that are used in Bamenda, even though BOKO HARAM has been bombing us for 4 years now. Surprisingly, FRU NDI mentioned this morning that the three wounded policemen were affected by their own grenade that they failed to cap well. MANIPULATION!
This is how the TUTSI/HUTU genocide began.
BIYA and his cohorts will not only be tried at the INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, but they will also be tried for HIGH TREASON against the Anglophone people. BIYA sent MACHINE GUNS and HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS to massacre his own people, unarmed civilians, the same people who voted him to power.
I wonder whether BOBGA HARMONY, NJOH LITUMBE and others about there are keeping all these pieces of evidence, including photos and videos and testimonies from bereaved family members so as to build a case against BIYA for crimes against humanity. From what we heard and saw. It will take something special for an Anglophone to look at a francophone in the eye and smile from his heart. In some quarters in Limbe, the battle lines are already drawn. Once you meet someone and speak a different expression, the countenance changes instantly. BIYA and his cohorts have finally succeeded in making it an ANGLOPHONE/FRANCOPHONE problem when it was never the case. There will come a time when francophones and their interests west of the mungo will be attacked as they are also attacking our brothers across the Mungo and that will be the actual genocide.
To our brothers working in LRC Military, shall you all stand aloof and watch LRC exterminate us? What makes you think you will be spared by them? Its your turn to join the revolution.
Saturday. October 7, 2017 WE DECRY ANGLOPHONE INTIMIDATION, ABUSES AND LQOTING BY FORCES
We know that we are all disturbed by the images of brutality, looting, arrests, inhumane treatment and violence upon peaceful. unarmed and harmless citizens by the military all across the North West and South West Regions.
We condemn with all energy, these acts of barbarism, irresponsible and unprofessional acts by the military. It is the duty of every soldier to protect, respect and defend every citizen.
Young and old, men and women are currently arrested from their homes, detained and transported to Yaounde. Some are forced to flee to farms and bushes to seek refuge, homes and properties have been destroyed and businesses reportedly looted.
Several families have been left in pain and hurt, not knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones, this is totally unacceptable in a nation that claims to respect human rights and all international conventions.
We strongly condemn the harassment of Anglophones in Yaounde and Douala. Cameroonians are free to live and work in any part of the country. No one should be stigmarised because they are Anglophones or Francophones. Freedom of association should not be selective!
There is no excuse for this, no words to describe the horror faced by the people, this must stop!
Nkongho Felix Agbor
Troops and attack helicopters opened fire on protesters at the height of separatist rallies in English-speaking areas of Cameroon over the weekend, killing and wounding people, witnesses and rights groups said.
The army dismissed the reports from sources in five towns as “completely false” and said helicopters had only been used for surveillance.
Any use of air attacks would mark a major escallation in a government crackdown on separatist protests that have been rumbling in Anglophone districts of the central African oil producer for almost a year.
Thousands took to the streets in towns across the Northwest and Southwest regions on Sunday, Oct. 1, calling for independence from the country’s French-speaking majority.
Rights groups said they started to collect reports on ensuing violence in the areas bordering Nigeria as the week progressed.
Eight people in the towns of Bamenda, Buea, Ndu, Tombel and Kumbo told Reuters that police and soldiers moved in to stop the protests and in some areas, low-flying attack helicopters fired tear gas and live rounds on the crowds.
Etienne Ndage, a 31-year-old journalist for Savannah Frontier Radio in the northwest tea-plantation town of Ndu said he saw helicopters firing at around 1 pm local time, killing two protesters as a 1,000-strong march gained momentum.
“They were firing like in a war film,” he told Reuters.
Hilary Manjong, private secretary to a local Member of Parliament in Ndu, said witnesses had shared similar accounts with him.
Army spokesman Didier Badjeck dismissed the accounts. “Reports that the helicopters fired on protestors is completely false. The helicopters were only conducting surveillance,” he said.
The government earlier this week said about 10 people had died on Sunday including five in a prison fire that may not have been linked to the protests.
The governor of Southwest region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, told the Cameroon Tribune newspaper in an article published on Tuesday that protesters had ambushed soldiers in Kumba, forcing them to open fire in self defence.
Amnesty International told Reuters on Thursday that more than 20 people were killed between Oct. 1 and 2.
“THE INNOCENT ONES”
Demonstrations began nearly a year ago when Anglophone lawyers and teachers protested against having to work in French, saying it showed the wider marginalisation of the English-speaking minority.
The protests gained support and have increasingly called for Cameroon’s five million English speakers to get their own country.
The rallies have also have become a lightning rod for opposition to President Paul Biya’s 35-year rule.
Campaigners called more protests on Sunday, the anniversary of Anglophone Cameroon’s independence from Britain.
In the southwest town of Tombel, a resident who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that a military helicopter came so low over the town centre that the wind gusts threw a man off his motorbike.
First the helicopter fired teargas to disperse the crowd, then it opened fire, the resident said. “Normally they fire rubber bullets, but I could tell from the sound that these were real,” they added.
Outside Buea, police on the ground and a helicopter opened fire on protestors who had run into the bush to bypass a military checkpoint, said Louis Anuchem, a 35-year-old taxi driver from Buea.
“The helicopter came close to the ground,” he added. “We heard the gunshots and the bullets coming through the trees,” he told Reuters.
After the demonstrations police went door-to-door in some towns, rounding up young men and women, residents said.
“Soldiers came to our neighbourhood and broke into homes and carried boys away,” said Lanya Joel, a 21-year-old Kumba resident. “I am scared and will be away until it’s all over.”
Rights group the Southern Cameroon’s Public Affairs Committee said in a report that a 12 year-old girl was shot by security forces from a helicopter in the town of Kumbo.
The Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference of Anglophone Christian Bishops said in a statement this week that is was disturbed by reports that “some of our Christians were ... arrested, some maimed, and some were simply shot to death, some from helicopters.”
Helene Mekem said her son was shot dead by security forces outside his home in Kumba on Sunday, even though he was not involved in the protests.