Over ten civilians in Buea and Kumba, all towns in the South West region of Cameroon have died from Monday’s violent clashes between anglophone separatists and security forces.
Eyewitness account state the gunfire which started early morning recorded several casualties including civilians, security officers and economic losses like razed buildings and buses.
“We have been hearing gunfire since early this morning in the districts of Molyko, Malingo and Bonduma,” a resident told AFP by phone, in an account confirmed by three other people.
“Separatist fighters entered several areas of the city and started firing. The army and police have retaliated, several vehicles have been burned (and) people are hunkered down at home.” another witness said.
Media reports from Kumba this morning indicate, several corpses are still been discovered from yesterday’s deadly clashes. Going by the reports, a yet to be identified man, dressed in just a sleeping short trouser is believed to have been dragged from his home, killed in the night and dumped by the roadside.
Meanwhile, the entire population of Newlayout Fiango, a popular area in Kumba, is reported to be packing out as another showdown between the military and separatists is gradually building up. The denizens parking out, are said to have received warning by the restoration forces to quit the area ahead of an anticipated attack on the military camp.
It would be recalled that some seperatists had named Buea as the capital of the self-declared state, Ambazonia, which has no international recognition. A government crackdown then followed, plunging the two regions into almost daily acts of violence and retribution.
According to a government report last month, separatists had killed 74 soldiers and seven police since late 2017 while more than 100 civilians had died “over the past 12 months.”
Despite the escalating crisis, President Biya in his usual rigor policy attitude decreed October 7 as the date for the country’s Presidential elections. Biya’s decision to convened the electoral corps despite the tensions in the country’s English speaking regions has been regarded by many anglophones as ‘adding insult to injury’.