Following rampant attacks by separatist fighters in the city of Bamenda, the Military led by, General Nka Valery after the crackdown in Boyo division and the killing of two police men on duty in a locality called Small Mankon; announced what he called “Operation Clean Bamenda”. The operation which is designed to frustrate activities of separatists according to the General and to protect civilians went operational weeks ago and since then, the number of casualties has increased in the region. Instead of directly affecting the separatists it is rather affecting the civilian population.
The Northwest region is one of the conflict hit regions in Cameroon. Over the months, armed conflict between the military and separatists fighters have intensified and this have had devastating effects to the local population. The streets of Bamenda had been deserted and business places kept close for weeks because of fear of unknown. In the wake of this operation an alleged Amba general was killed and his body kept at a roundabout for the population to see. In solidarity with this the mayor together with the Governor of the region banned motorbikes from using major streets in the town which had a lot of complains from the youths as biking is a source of revenue for them.
Eleven people killed
On September 22, in Bamenda a total of four men were gunned down by police men along the motorway linking Mile 8 (Ngomgham) and Mile 7 (Ntankah). Amongst them, were alleged two separatist’s fighters otherwise known as “Amba boys.” According to reports those killed are not separatist fighters but rather civilians. “Those boys are not Amba. I personally know them. This area has never been attacked that’s why am sure people were outside when there is ghost town” an inhabitant of the area told Cameroon Humanitarian News. However, other reports do contradict with this by stating that the area is inhabited by the alleged separatist fighters. Despite the disparity of the stories from inhabitants of the locality, one thing is clear which is in the course of this operation a lot of innocent blood is being shed by both separatists and the Military.
A similar story which depicts the atrocities committed in the two English regions is the killing of five young men in (Lysoka) the out skirts of Buea. According to reports about five young men and one woman were deliberately shot dead on Wednesday September 23. The crime they committed is still to be known by the people. This incident have left many heartbroken and confused. The inhabitants of this locality have over the months had several operations including raids which have left many dead and others kidnaped and taken to unknown locations by both camps. In less than 24hours a total of Eleven (11) civilians have been executed by the government forces. The continuous killings in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon have caused several organizations and institutions to call for a ceasefire which seems far reaching because none of the two camps are heading to calls made.
Boys at the Centre of raids
For about four years since the Anglophone crisis surfaced, young men have been a point of focus by both Military and Separatists fighters. The military most of the times gun down innocent boys thinking they are Ambazonian fighters. The lives of these young men have become a Narrow escape grappled with a lot of uncertainty. Their life span seems to be an open secret as no one knows what may happen to them the next minute. Being a citizen in a country which can be termed to be a haunted house has proven fatal to these young stars. Arrested arbitrarily by tagging them to the separatists fighters only to loot money out of them as in the case of recent raid in Muea where dozens of young men were taken to police stations. These actions have many think of the fact that October 01 is fast approaching: October 01 is considered the anniversary British Southern Cameroons independence from Britain in 1961. Parents are being more cautious with their children as this day is usually considered dreadful for local population for over four years and counting.