Cameroon Soldiers Pour Frustration on Civilians After Separatist IED Attack
The Cameroon army inflicted unbearable pain on the population of Mbengwi Road, a neighbourhood in Bamenda II Sub-Division of the North West Region of Cameroon, on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
Dozens of houses were razed including businesses. 5 civilians are also suspected to have been killed by the soldiers who were frustrated after alleged members of the Ambazonia Restoration Forces (ARF) detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that destroyed an armoured military vehicle.
Reports say many soldiers might have lost their lives as a result of the attack, which triggered the déjà vu reaction of the State Security Forces in a reprisal attack on the civilian population. The soldiers went on rampage, burning down houses and shooting indiscriminately and the entire population had to go on all fours in order to avoid the flying bullets.
A source revealed to DHPI that most of the houses targeted were those nicely constructed along the Bamenda – Mbengwi Road.
A husband and a wife revealed over Thursday’s (December 9, 2021) BBC’s Focus on Africa that the military razed over 25 houses, and only spared the houses of those who offered money to them as a bribe. The wife saw her home go up in flames as she managed to escape through the back door with her little grandson while the husband was returning from a trip out of the town of Bamenda.
Worthy of note is the fact that the Cameroon military under the regional command of North West Governor, Adolphe Lele L’Afrique, General Nka Valére of the 5th Military Region among others have embraced what observers say is a scorch earth policy whose aim is to instil collective punishment on the local population.
All seven divisions of the Northwest Region have had their share of the Military scorch-earth policy.
Analysts say this strategy by the military is counterproductive as it goes a long way to infuriate the Anglophones who may just be left with no other option but to fight back as they have been doing since 2016.
It should also be recalled that it was on the same day of December 08, 2016 that this crisis took a bloody turn when members the State ruling party – CPDM headed the Prime Minister and the Minister of Territorial Administration and other ministers attempted to stage a protest march against the grievances expressed by English-speaking teachers and Lawyers. The angry population led by some brave young men decided to disrupt the march and this resulted in an open confrontation with the State Security Forces, leading to the shooting dead of 8 youths and the burning of the cars of the ministers, with the Minister of Territorial Administration narrowly escaping death.
Six years today and the government of Cameroon has done nothing to solve the problem but has maintained an iron grip on the embittered population of the Northwest and Southwest regions with a very strong military presence that has instead radicalized the population more as some were left with no option than to take up arms in what is known today as the ARFs.
It is a pity that the regime of Biya has given a deaf ear to the recommendations of the international community to order a ceasefire and engage in an all-inclusive dialogue with the stakeholders of the crisis. The scorched earth policy
used by the government for these years will only serve to make the people more determined to obtain regain their independence and this is going to be a long drawn-out war.